DHL Delivery Drone in Germany
Deutsche Post tested unmanned deliveries of medicine to determine the viability of using drones for deliveries of small packages over short distances.
DHL is hoping to demonstrate that the technology is ready for real world applications despite regulatory challenges.
“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.”
Rules for autonomous vehicles differ in jurisdictions around the world, but in the UK DHL would have a hard time institution the same project. British rules laid out by the Civil Aviation Authority limit unmanned vehicles to operating at least 50m from a building or person, and always within sight of an operator.
As such, fully autonomous vehicles such as the parcelcopter aren’t legal to fly in the UK, although a CAA spokesman told the Guardian in July that “the line-of-sight provision could go away some time in the future when we see a device able to make decisions about avoiding whatever objects are out there”.