DHL Express has teamed up with EHang to jointly launch a fully automated and intelligent drone delivery solution.
It has been designed to tackle the last-mile delivery challenges in the urban areas of China.
The launch ceremony was held at the EHang Command and Control Center in Guangzhou, with the attendance of senior executives from both companies.
Wu Dongming, CEO at DHL Express China, commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with EHang to set a new innovation milestone with this new fully-automated and intelligent drone logistics solution, which combines the strength of the world’s largest international express company together with one of the leading UAV companies in the world.”
He added: “This is an exciting time for the logistics sector, with continued growth of the Chinese economy and cross-border trade, particularly in South China and the Greater Bay Area, which is home to an increasing number of SMEs and startups. This means there is a tremendous volume of logistics needs, which in turn creates new opportunities for implementing innovative solutions that can continuously drive growth with greater efficiency, sustainability and less cost.”
The new customised route, which has been exclusively created for a DHL customer, covers a distance of approximately eight kilometres between the customer premises and the DHL service center in Liaobu, Dongguan, Guangdong Province.
It uses the most advanced Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in EHang’s Falcon series to help it solution overcome the complex road conditions and traffic congestion common to urban areas.
It reduces one-way delivery time from 40 minutes to only eight minutes and can save costs of up to 80% per delivery, with reduced energy consumption and carbon footprint compared with road transportation.
Mr. Hu Huazhi, founder & CEO of EHang, said, “Together with DHL we are very glad to bring the first smart drone delivery service route to China in Guangzhou; this marks a new beginning in building air logistics for smart cities.
“Riding on today’s launch, we expect smart drone delivery as an innovative logistics solution to be expanded and realized in more areas, and we look forward to working with DHL in building the eco-system for a multi-dimensional urban air transport system.”
The DHL drone delivery service will use the EHang Falcon smart drone, with eight propellers on four arms, is designed with multiple redundant systems for full backup, and smart and secure flight control modules.
Its features include vertical take-off and landing, high accuracy GPS and visual identification, smart flight path planning, fully-automated flight and real-time network connection and scheduling.
The drones can carry a payload of up to 5kg.
Last month the FAA awarded Wing Aviation with first air carrier certification for drone delivery in the US.
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