Swiss Post testing drones for deliveries and emergencies

9 Jul 2015

Swiss Post, in partnership with Swiss WorldCargo and Matternet, will this month be testing drones for commercial use.

Switzerland’s national postal service teamed up with Swiss WorldCargo and Matternet (a Californian logistics drone manufacturer) earlier in the year. They intend to test and assess the cost-effectiveness and practical use of drones in delivery processes.

The companies see potential applications ranging from express delivery of goods to delivery of emergency supplies to cut-off regions.

Testing will be carried out on the Matternet ONE, a drone designed to transport loads of 1kg over 10km on a single charge. The drone will fly autonomously, following “clearly defined, secure flight paths” drawn up by software developed by Matternet.

This period of testing will not lead to frequent use of drones in delivery scenarios, though – at least not immediately.

In a release announcing the testing, the three companies stated that “the widespread use of drones is not expected within the next five years,” citing technical obstacles and a lack of regulatory frameworks.

However, the drones may be used sooner in exceptional cases, or for the transport of special items.

Regardless of when they come into use, we’re just hoping they call them Toble-drones.

Swiss Post, you can have that one for free…

Kirsty Tobin was careers editor at Silicon Republic