Australia Post will seek exemptions from key regulations around the use of drone delivery technology, as it looks to launch customer trials as early as next year.
If the prospect of packages being delivered by drone seems a bit fantastical to you, you’re not alone. It really is a bit space age isn’t it? And just because you haven’t seen a drone overhead yet, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t seen you.
Drones are fast becoming a defining feature of this century. Thousands are already in operation in some of the world’s most developed countries, which is likely to grow to the hundreds of thousands.
Substantial users of this technology are expected to be the media, emergency services, scientists, farmers, photographers, sports enthusiasts, politicians and government forces as well.
However, it is commercial use that will eventually dwarf all of the above. In today’s age of e-Commerce and its ever increasing demanding nature which looks towards innovation for “faster everything,” drones will be the next step in logistics and delivery.
Australia Post are keen to get their investment into drone delivery technology off the ground, with customer trials expected as early as next year.
The company revealed they are now at the point of seeking exemptions from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), for two key regulations that govern the commercial use of drones, as it explores using the high-tech delivery option further.
One of the rulings requires drone operators to maintain visual contact with a drone, and the second involves limitations on operators from controlling more than one drone at a time.
The company’s e-Commerce solutions general manager, Andrew Walduck, said the organisation was looking to start its first round of real world testing in 2017, but would first require CASA’s exemptions on the two rulings.
Australia Post announced it began testing how it can deliver parcels to customers via drones in April this year in a closed field trial.
Australia Post’s chief executive Ahmed Fahour says the company are exploring the viability of adding this to its multiple methods of delivery.
Drone delivery technology would be especially valuable for rural customers living far out from their local postie.
Fahour says that a number of Australia Post’s pureplay clients are already looking to participate in the drone delivery consumer trails planned for next year, including Catch of the Day and The Iconic.
The company say safety is a key focus in the project, announcing drone technology will only happen once they are 100 percent confident the technology and its fleet are safe and reliable.