At Zurich airport last week Swiss Post and Swiss WorldCargo announced they would be teaming up with the US drone manufacturer Matternet to trial parcel deliveries using drones this summer in Switzerland.  The aim of this pilot project will be as proof of concept to clarify the legal framework, consider local conditions and explore the technical and business capabilities of the drones.

The tests will be using a number of Matternet ONE drones. These vehicles have been designed for the transportation of small packages and are capable of carrying a payload of 1 kilogram up to 20 kilometers on a single battery charge. The drones typically fly between 50 to 100 metres altitude and have no need for any manual form of steering input, they are capable of totally autonomous operation between authorized landing stations, following waypoints on secure routes generated by Matternet’s proprietary Cloud software and using encrypted communications. Should the technology fail completely for any reason, the drone will deploy a parachute to ensure a soft landing.

The Matternet ONE has already proved its worth for the transportation of medicines and diagnostics in some of the world’s most challenging environments such as Bhutan, Papua New Guinea and Haiti. Click here to view the Matternet press release.