A new project is underway in the West Midlands which will use technology from the UAV industry to create platforms capable of deploying drones quickly and efficiently in areas that are hard to access.
The UK’s first AirPOD is being developed in collaboration with Westfield Autonomous Vehicles, Cranfield University and Harper Adams University and is using technology from the niche automotive industry to the aviation industry.
The AirPOD will utilise the latest technology in automation sensing for navigation and technology in the form of battery, bio-composite materials, autonomous control and light weighting structures.
At a scaled level, the project will aim to prove the concept of producing a more time efficient, environmentally friendly and convenient multi-application platform for demonstrating goods transport but also being designed for passenger transport.
The AirPOD concept hopes to provide an alternative to replace driving cities around the globe and alleviate problems in time spent on roads.
Reducing travel time to minutes, the AirPOD is envisioned to offer several benefits, including emergency care, medical goods transfer between hospitals, provision of medical support and aid in rural locations such as the Lake District.
The drone will be deployed and charged from roof of POD.
The Trial locations will include Warwick Hospital, University Hospital Birmingham, Christies Hospital Manchester and The Lake District.
Westfield’s CEO, Julian Turner, said: “The AirPOD could revolutionise rural areas in terms of emergency care. We are delighted to work with Harper Adams on this project who are at the forefront of advancing these applications.”
The project is being funded by Innovate UK and the Niche Vehicle Network.