Drones are about to go postal in Auvergne, a province in south central France.
In collaboration with drone-maker Parrot, local postal service La Poste Group will deliver mail via quadricopter drones as early as May of this year, the group recently announced on its blog.
The group is already testing the “Parrot Air Drone Postal” service in Auvergne with a team of 20 postal workers and 20 drones. The postal workers can control the drones by an iPod Touch, iPhone, and Android devices using Parrot’s smartphone app.
Drones are becoming more commonplace these days, with thousands of hobbyists building their own and sharing their experiences on sites like DIYdrones.com. Meanwhile, companies like FedEx are anxiously waiting for the day when drones are admitted to standard U.S. air space.
FedEx wants to be able to use drones to transport packages, rather than having to rely on passenger planes. That’s because passenger planes need to be pressurised, which is expensive, and they also can’t fly in formation, which is much more efficient.
The FAA is working to officially allow the commercial use of drones by 2015, but the drones cannot fly higher than 400 feet above the ground and must be at least five miles away from any airport.
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