People living in Switzerland may be saying goodbye to their mail delivery guy.
The Swiss Post is currently testing drones for delivery, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Swiss Post is working with Swiss WorldCargo, the air freight division of the Swiss International Air Lines, and the drone maker Matternet to get the program off the ground. However, widespread use of drones isn’t expected for another five years, the company said in a statement.
“Until the time of their realistic commercial use in around five years, there are various requirements which need to be clarified. This includes the regulatory framework. In addition, there are technical restrictions with the drones of today, such as limited battery life,” the company said in a statement.
One area drones could be especially useful for Swiss Post is for the express delivery of goods in special situations, the company said.
For the testing period the company is using Matternet’s ONE drones, which are simple to operate and can carry a little over two pounds more than six miles with a single battery charge. The device flies autonomously once a defined, secure path has been set by Matternet’s cloud software.
Mail and package delivery will likely be one of the most common use cases for drones in the future. The Swiss Post is not the first to begin experimenting with drones for delivery. Last year, the UPS began doing similar research and several tech giants including Amazon and Google are investing in drone technology for their own delivery purposes.
However, in the US this is still a ways off because of regulations have yet to be put in place by the FAA for commercial delivery drones.
The Swiss Post, though, is forging ahead trying to figure out how to integrate drones into its current processes. It’s biggest obstacle is more on the technical side, as the battery life for drones is still relatively short.
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