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Airbus to trial autonomous drone with Singapore Post

SINGAPORE: April 18, 2017. Airbus Helicopters and Singapore Post (SingPost) are to begin trials of the Airbus Skyways drone project at the National University of Singapore (NUS) in early 2018.

Skyways is an experimental project to develop a safe and economically viable aerial unmanned parcel delivery system for use in urban environments.

Last year Airbus Helicopters signed a contract with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore to test a fully autonomous drone parcel delivery service (load-fly-unload-notify) at the NUS.

Airbus and Singapore PostAirbus Helicopters is the overall Skyways system architect that allow drones to land, dock with secure structures, discharge or take on payloads, and then fly off to other destinations.

"Skyways was launched with the intent to provide highly efficient, reliable and seamless small parcel deliveries using drones in urban cities," commented Airbus Helicopters' executive vice president of Engineering and CTO Jean-Brice Dumont. "The project has been progressing well and we welcome SingPost onboard as our logistics partner in this critical phase, as we work in tandem to develop a robust autonomous parcel delivery system that will revolutionize the logistics industry."

SingPost will provide the project with additional expertise in delivery networks, real-time back-end links to last-mile delivery, and eCommerce logistics solutions.

"Drones and other autonomous vehicles are in the future of the logistics industry. The demonstrator that Airbus Helicopters and SingPost will be developing is designed to address real-world challenges such as safe and accurate flight in high rise cities," said Mervyn Lim, SingPost's Covering Group CEO.

"Our trial will involve SingPost's parcel locker technology, and this fits well into our long term plans to develop future generations of parcel delivery points that involve drones and the vertical dimension," he added.

In addition to Airbus/Sing Post, delivery drones have been tested by Amazon, DHL, JD.com, Lufthansa Cargo, Matternet on behalf of the Rwandan government, Mercedes Benz, Pony Express Ireland, Swiss Post/Swiss WorldCargo and the 7-Eleven convenience store chain.

Pictured: Jean-Brice Dumont, executive vice president of Engineering and CTO Airbus Helicopters (left), and Mervyn Lim, SingPost's Covering Group CEO.

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