Wednesday 22 November 2017

Switzerland authorises test scheme for home deliveries by drone

Stock picture of Zurich
Stock picture of Zurich

Switzerland will host a test project which will see drones used for home deliveries, the first time a scheme has been given the green light in a densely-populated area.

Toothbrushes, deodorant and smartphones are among the items that could be transported .

Drone firm Matternet, based in Menlo Park, California, said on Thursday it is partnering on the Zurich project with Mercedes-Benz's vans division and Swiss e-commerce startup Siroop.

The project has been approved by Switzerland's aviation authority.

Matternet chief executive Andreas Raptopoulos said the drones will take items from a distribution centre and transport them between eight to 16 kilometres to waiting delivery vans.

The van drivers then bring the packages to homes.

Mr Raptopoulos said drones will speed up deliveries, buzzing over congested urban streets or natural barriers like Lake Zurich.

The project comes as Amazon, Google and Uber have also been investing in drone delivery research.

AP

Press Association

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