Swedish UAV services company Aerit has been tapped to conduct trial drone deliveries around the large Norrtälje area to the north of Stockholm. The move comes just two months after Aerit successfully flew its first beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) delivery mission – just the second ever in the country.
Founded a mere 11 months ago, Aerit is keen to take the lead in Sweden’s blossoming UAV services market. The company is preparing delivery service with its own Nimbi drones, which feature a winch system that doesn’t require landing for either loading or lowering orders to customers. This month the Swedish Innovation Agency, Vinnova, said it would provide funding for a year-long test run of drone deliveries by Aerit to Norrtälje – the name of both the municipal seat and surrounding county composed of islands and vast rural expanses that may be reached faster by UAV than road options.
Aerit’s selection was in part based on its successful BVLOS drone delivery in October, when one of its Nimbi UAVs flew a small food order on an autonomous, 2.7-kilometer mission in Halland county, on Sweden’s southwest coast. It was only the second BVLOS flight in the country after Swedish research institute RISE staged the first one during a trial in 2019. The Halland run was the first commercial drone delivery mission, however, and by extension also the first in BVLOS mode.
Aerit now joins RISE as one of its partners in the upcoming drone delivery service to Norrtälje. Those flights will also examine the technical and regulatory considerations of UAV commercial operation under European Union Aviation Safety Agency rules that came into force in January.
“We are very excited about this project in collaboration with some of Sweden’s leading institutions.” said Alexander Perrien, Aerit CEO. “We hope to show that Aerit can improve the lives of those in areas covered by our services, offset the climate impact of last-mile delivery overall, and, of course, make things more convenient for everyone involved.”
The project falls directly within the Stockholm-based company’s mission statement of seeking to use drone deliveries to improve access to goods and services by people regardless of their location, personal mobility, or of weather and time of day involved. That dovetails with the efforts of Norrtälje officials to find fast, affordable, and sustainable ways of easing the provision of the some 64,000 residents spread across the region’s 2,011 square kilometers of islands and rural terrain.
“Norrtälje municipality looks forward to working with this innovative project… (and) we see multiple opportunities for all companies and residents in the archipelago, countryside, and in our city centers,” said Norrtälje business development manager Daniel Klemserud. “We believe this project has great potential for positive impact both environmentally and economically.”
In addition to its operation in Norrtälje, Aerit plans to launch continuous delivery services in other select locations across Sweden over the next year.
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