Heavy load drones for the intermediate km

Par thierno - 23 September, 2020 - 13:29

German start-up Volocopter has partnered with DB Schenker to test its heavy load drones. It wants to find use cases in the supply chain, other than the last kilometre.

When people think of logistics and drones, they always think of 3-kg packages and the last few kilometres for home delivery," says Florian Reuter in an interview with Reuters.  "But it's the middle kilometre, not the last, that we serve.

DB Schenker

To test the system in real life, the start-up has approached the transport and logistics group DB Schenker, which had participated in the last fund raising of €37 million. The first operational flight of the "volodrone" is scheduled for 2021: its capacity is increased to 20 kilos with a range of 40 kilometres.

"Drones are one of the technologies that allow us to rethink the organisation of the supply chain for urban logistics," says Jochen Thewes, Schenker's CEO. "Our common goal is to have proof of commercial use in 2021.

This experience would be the prelude to the launch of Volocity, the passenger taxi service, pending the green light from EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency).