Airbus has begun autonomous drone delivery tests in Singapore, tasked with transporting parcels to offshore ships. Teaming up with Wilhelmsen Ships Services, the aerospace company accomplished the “world’s first shore-to-ship package delivery using a drone,” according to Airbus via AFP.
After lift off from a pier, the drone carried a 3.3-lb parcel to a ship sitting about 1 mi offshore, landing safely on the deck. After the delivery was made, the drone returned to its base, with the whole operation taking place in a 10-minute time frame, AFP reports.
The drones make the flight all on their own, using autonomous navigation and pre-planned flight paths. Their limits are 4 kg (8.8 lb) of cargo, and no more than 3 km (1.8 mi) from the coast.
According to AFP, Airbus boasts four main advantages drone ship delivery would bring: a 90 percent delivery cost reduction, it’s six times faster, increases safety, and lowers Airbus’ carbon footprint.
In addition to parcel delivery, Singapore is also looking to use drones with building inspections, security tasks, and more.