DHL launches first authorized autonomous delivery flights by “parcelcopter” to and from the North Sea island of Juist, 7.5 miles off the coast of Northern Germany.
The DHL parcelcopter has been approved for testing delivery of medications and other urgently needed goods to the small North Sea island of Juist – one of a string of islands just off the coast of Northern Germany and The Netherlands. Daily deliveries began today.
DHL is working together with RWTH Aachen University and Microdrones GmbH along with the German Ministry of Transport. This research project represents the first and only time in Europe that a flight by an unmanned aircraft will be operated outside of the pilot's field of vision in a real-life mission.
The research team has optimized the copter and software for flight duration, flight range and speed to address the special challenges posed by the wind and marine-weather conditions of the North Sea.
“Our DHL parcelcopter 2.0 is already one of the safest and most reliable flight systems in its class that meets the requirements needed to fulfill such a mission,” said Jürgen Gerdes, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL's Post – eCommerce – Parcel Division. “We are proud that this additional service can create added value for the residents of and visitors to the island of Juist and are pleased with the support we have received from the involved communities and agencies.”