Australia Post is following in the footsteps of Amazon with intentions to launch a drone delivery system. The post office tested out a drone delivery in a ‘closed-field’ trial to test the possibility of implementing drone delivery in the future.
A prototype drone built with four rotors, what ABC is calling a “suction device” for the parcels and a cable to hold it in place as well. This is a little different than Amazon’s “clamp-on” system that its drones have. Australia Post says their drone is able to lift packages of up to 2.65 lbs.
The hope is that by the end of 2016, at least 50 Australia Post customers will receive packages via drone twice a week.
Australian Post chief executive, Ahmed Fahour, said, “The project was about complementing, not replacing, the way parcels were delivered. Just like vans, trucks, and aeroplanes, they didn’t replace what we do.”
However, Australia Post might have a host of other drones to fly around to get their parcels delivered due to new drone laws.
The trial seems to have happened quite soon after drone laws were tweaked, making drones available to commercial operators. According to Ten News, soon Australians will not need licenses to fly drones but only a certificate of registration from the Civil Aviation Authority.
Peter Gibson of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, said, “People who want to fly drones commercially; if their drone weighs less than two kilograms they will now face less red tape, fewer costs…”
The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that only 10 percent of Australians want drone delivery at all, which is not a big percentage. So maybe some convincing is needed.
Regardless, Fahour is insistent that drone delivery will form part of Australia Post soon. He said, “We’re exploring the viability of adding this to our multiple methods of delivery. We’re pretty confident that if we can get through this [trial] we’ll be able to offer this experimental service towards the end of this year.”