Swiss Post, Switzerland’s postal service, wants to make drone mail delivery happen. For real. The service is partnering with delivery drone company Matternet to run a pilot this summer in which ONE drones will carry pieces of mail weighing up to 2.2 pounds for up to 12 miles.
Matternet ONE drones autonomously follow routes plotted by the company’s cloud software. Light packages and other mail will be eligible for delivery through the project. Matternet said in a statement, “The primary aim of this pilot project is a Proof of Concept to clarify the legal framework, consider local conditions and explore the technical and business capabilities of the drones.”
Matternet has tested its drones in Haiti, but the Swiss Post collaboration is an opportunity to work out the logistics and complications of doing drone delivery in a different range of conditions. TechCrunch reports that Matternet has flown more drone hours than any other company. “We are extremely excited to bring Matternet ONE to Switzerland,” said Andreas Raptopoulos, Matternet’s CEO.
Between Amazon putting pressure on the FAA to allow drone delivery testing, and the United States Postal Service considering a delivery transportation bid from a drone developer, it seems like the burrito delivery fantasies of a few years ago may actually be realized in the next few years.