Logistics and transportation company Aramex says it has successfully tested drone and roadside bot deliveries in Dubai. These tests were conducted as part of the company’s “Future Delivery Program,” aimed at enhancing last-mile logistics using smart shipping solutions to enable quicker, more sustainable, and cost-effective deliveries.
The initial tests were conducted at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in partnership with BARQ EV, a commercial drone delivery service provider in the UAE, and Kiwibot, a Colombia-based company specializing in delivery robotics. The tests were performed with the support of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), Dubai Future Foundation, and Dubai Smart City.
Aramex explains that it utilized the drone delivery technology provided by BARQ EV, which is capable of operating multiple and continuous flights at long-range distances and different environments. The drones are equipped with multidirectional sensors and a fleet management system enabling Aramex to have high accuracy across order placements, dispatch management, drone flight routing, and deliveries.
Alaa Saoudi, chief operating officer of the Express division at Aramex, calls the expansion of the Future Delivery Program in the UAE a testament to the company’s drive to be at the forefront of last-mile delivery logistics and generate more value for customers by providing a faster, safer, and greener way of delivering packages. As Saoudi adds:
Importantly, [the program] enables Aramex to further contribute to UAE’s sustainability ambitions as we embark on our mission to transition our fleet to emission-free vehicles and achieve our climate pledge to reach carbon neutrality by 2030. We are excited about the next chapter of the program and further scale this service to reach more customers.
Angad Singh, global director of innovation of Aramex, explains that the initial introduction of robotic and drone deliveries in the UAE coincides with a time of growing customer demand for fast and reliable delivery services.
“With this testing, we wanted to enable an integrated ecosystem of innovative products which shall ultimately offer more convenience for our customers,” Singh says. “Therefore, in addition to the autonomous delivery vehicles, we have also rolled out mobile outlet trucks that allow us to operate drones and bots, as well as offer pickup and drop-off points at any location close to our customers. We look forward to implementing drone and bot deliveries in the UAE and beyond as we progress our sustainability plans to reduce our carbon footprint and contribute to the global effort to combat climate change.”
It’s worth highlighting that this initiative follows Aramex’s successful test of autonomous drone delivery in Muscat, Oman. The company also plans to expand its drone and robot delivery testing across the Middle East and Africa region, as well as other core markets where it operates.
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