Drone delivery is gradually approaching

Drone delivery is gradually approaching

OFweekrobotRecently, a video of a large drone taking off on water has gone viral on the internet. It has been confirmed by SF Express that it is an amphibious drone that the company is conducting scientific research flights.

This drone is jointly built by SF Express and a domestic company. It is made of carbon fiber metal material and is powered by oil. It has a payload of 250 kg, a cruising speed of 170 km/h, and a maximum cruising time of 10 hours. At present, its land and water load-bearing scientific research test flights have been completed, and it can take off and land on water and land, without special airport and runway requirements, and is suitable for operation in various complex environments.

In fact, in addition to the amphibious UAV tested this time, the large UAV with a payload of more than 1 ton jointly developed by SF Express and Longxing will also undergo a scientific research test flight in September this year.

Why is SF Express, which has been concentrating on delivering express delivery, so interested in the manufacture of drones? This is not unrelated to the increasingly urgent need to use drones to deliver express delivery.

As we all know, the competition of express delivery companies is the competition of delivery networks. Today, domestic express delivery giants, including SF Express, Three Links and One Da, have extended their delivery networks to fourth- and fifth-tier cities and even rural areas. At present, the domestic aviation network mainly covers first- and second-tier cities. If you want to deliver goods to fourth- and fifth-tier cities In cities or larger counties and towns or even more remote areas, the timeliness is not ideal.

Due to the lack of airports, mountains, and poor road network infrastructure, trucks cannot achieve fast transshipment in remote areas, and express delivery often takes 72 to 96 hours. At this time, large-scale logistics drones have become a realistic choice.

Taking Sichuan as an example, it currently takes 12 to 15 hours for land transportation from Panzhihua to Chengdu. If the land operation of the branch line is changed to large drone air transportation, the time will be shortened to 2.5 hours, which can greatly improve the express delivery time.

The author communicated with the management of several private express delivery companies and found that the demand for drones with relatively large carrying capacity has been put on the agenda, such as 10 kg and 100 kilometers, from one outlet to another outlet. Ranged drones have already been used in pesticide spraying.

That is to say, in terms of technology and cost, it is no longer a problem to use drones to deliver express delivery. However, whether domestic or foreign, the current lack of regulatory policies is the biggest bottleneck for the rapid promotion of drone delivery. .

In Germany, the international logistics giant DHL is also experimenting with drone delivery. At present, it has realized the use of drones with a load of 2kg to 5kg in southern Germany, flying 10~20 kilometers, and automatically delivering packages to Packaged in a smart cabinet.

However, DHL also frankly stated that there is currently no regulatory policy cooperation in Germany to use drones for express delivery.

In China, SF Express has found a breakthrough. In June this year, SF Express and Nankang District of Ganzhou City jointly applied for the airspace application of the logistics drone demonstration operation area, which was officially approved by the bureau and civil aviation, and obtained the first legal flight right of drone logistics in China. The demonstration airspace jointly promoted by relevant regulatory authorities and local governments covers five townships in Nankang District, Ganzhou City, Jiangxi Province.

After obtaining policy authorization, SF Express can conduct test flights in this area to verify technical reliability and safety (such as how to prevent express shipments from being rerouted or hijacked, such as flight altitude, route, communication circuit determination, etc.) , and then provide feasible suggestions for the establishment and control of actual operations and rules and regulations by accumulating data and establishing scene experience.

As far as I know, SF Express, which has been researching drones since 2012, has obtained 151 patents in the field of drones. The air transport network can reach the whole country in 36 hours, even in complex terrain or remote areas.

And once drone delivery becomes a reality that the entire industry needs to use, for SF Express, which has already participated in standard setting and infrastructure construction in advance, the positioning may not only be a logistics service that uses drones to deliver express delivery by itself business.

Technology has changed life and will also change the way companies make money.

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