Singapore’s postal service has successfully delivered post by drone over a distance of two kilometres. The route took the drone from Lorong Halus to Pulau Ubin, which mainly involved flying over open water to reach its destination.
The test flight took five minutes, with a modified Pixhawk Steadidrone platform by IDA Labs carrying a payload of a letter as well as T-shirt in a packet. While the press release and the promotional video says that the drone is tailored for urban environments, it looks like the test flight delivered to a more rural section of Singapore and hasn’t shown how it would fair in the city.
At the moment, the drone is capable of transporting payloads of up to half a kilogramme, and has a range of 2.3km. It doesn’t quite look like SingPost is going to use it for door to door deliveries, but is more likely to fly packages out to postal workers for the last mile delivery.
SingPost is also working on a recipient authentication system to verify that the package has reached the correct person. It’s app based, but there are no details about how it works. Making an app based system raises a lot of questions about the system’s ability to cater to everyone.
In any case, the postal service is saying that the drone delivery service is far from ready for mass deployment. It does not have have a timeline prepared.
Singapore is not the only country to be testing drone delivery services. Amazon has been running trials in America, while Google is said to be working on its own version of the service.