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DHL Completes First Successful Drone Delivery in Germany

By Argel John L. Querubin - on 7 Feb 2014, 3:03pm

DHL Completes First Successful Drone Delivery in Germany

 DHL's PaketKopter

DHL has completed its first successful drone delivery using an unmanned aerial vehicle in Bonn, Germany. This was part of the company’s preliminary research on how drones could be used to deliver urgent packages to areas with limited access to traditional transport.

The yellow “PaketKopter” (or parcel copter) flew 50m high across the Rhine in Bonn bearing the 3kg package of medicines for about 1km.

“We are at the beginning of the research project," said DHL manager Ole Nordhoff, adding that the technology is quite exciting.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for DHL said in a statement that the company is considering the use of drones, as these could help customers get their purchases in half an hour or less.

According to the rest of the statement, "The idea of using drones for parcel delivery is not new. DHL also has its dedicated research project, in which DHL is testing a so-called parcel copter. In the context of this future-oriented innovation project, we are considering particularly urgent deliveries such as drug supply or deliveries via parcel copter to areas that are geographically difficult to access. However, we do not have specific plans to use the parcel copter in our regular parcel delivery operations at present."

Although there have been no physical problems thus far with package delivery, DHL is still scrutinizing the use of commercial drones as it may violate some laws. In the United States the use of all commercial drones is currently illegal, with the Federal Aviation Administration mandated to issue regulations by the end of 2015.

DHL said it had permission from local aviation authorities to run the test flights, but reiterated that these were simply part of a trial in the company’s goal to revolutionize the future of its logistics business.