Wingcopter, Merck complete first drone delivery trial

Wingcopter Merck drone delivery

Delivery drone company Wingcopter, in partnership with Merck and Frankfurt University, has completed its first drone delivery trial showcasing the benefits of drones as a delivery method. The delivery test spanned over 25 km from a Merck lab in Gernsheim, Germany, to the Merck headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany.

The trials have already proven beneficial for the companies involved, in some cases lowering delivery times by up to a day. The drones have also allowed costs and environmental damages to be drastically cut down.

The drone delivery trial differed from other deliveries as the drone was beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) for the duration of the flight, something not normally done. The drone also flew over buildings, powerlines, cars, and even people. The company is hoping that the trials they are conducting can be a standard for future delivery projects.

The next step for the drone delivery trials includes deliveries continuing to be completed by drone, with the findings to be summarized in a report coming out in March.

Delivery drone trials have been happening for the last few years, with giants such as Google and Amazon having a crack. Google’s Wing Aviation is currently delivering small goods to a select group of neighborhoods in eastern Australia and has operations in the US and Finland. Amazon is testing its delivery drones in the UK and the US, with patents showing up of the drones being able to provide surveillance to customers while delivering their packages, an interesting feature to throw in.

While drone delivery has already proven to be a cost-effective and efficient way to transport goods, its adoption has been slow for a few reasons. Drone delivery companies have to ensure the public that if a drone flies above, their privacy won’t be compromised. A big issue at the moment is the sound of drones flying above, which is very noisy. Another large hurdle is the regulations surrounding delivery drones, which in most cases don’t exist. Many of the companies are having to work with local authorities to come up with regulations that are suitable and are still beneficial for the companies to deliver by drone.

What are your thoughts on deliveries by drones? Would you choose it over a ground delivery method? Let us know in the comments below.

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Photo: Wingcopter

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