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Fastway jumps on drone delivery

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Sydney-established drone delivery service Flirtey has received a big investment boost by Fastway Couriers, which has today announced a collaboration aiming to bypass factories and traffic congestion.

Fastway New Zealand undertook a trial of the collaborative service, using a Flirtey drone to transport auto parts 1.9 kilometres. The trial was deemed to be quite the success.

“We’re very impressed by the recent trial undertaken by our global counterparts in New Zealand,” Fastway Couriers Australia Chief Executive Officer Richard Thame said.

“We’re always exploring new and innovative ways to enhance the customer experience and, although there’s no substitute for courier drivers, drone technology is rapidly progressing and may present future opportunities for increasing speed of delivery, particularly in traffic congested areas.”

The trial, which you can see in the video below, found that using the drone to deliver the parts cut the route’s usual delivery time by a substantial amount. At final clock, the drone’s time from start to delivery came in at 4 minutes and 45 seconds, compared to the 18 minutes and 19 seconds taken by courier.

Made from carbon fibre, aluminum and 3D printed components, the Flirtey delivery drone is controlled autonomously and can carry packages weighing over 2.5 kg over a 15 km return journey. The company says the drone contains safety features such the ability to hold an amount of battery life to return to location and “auto-return” capabilities, which brings it home despite low GPS signal or communication loss.

“This is a significant moment because it is the first commercial drone delivery over a populated area in New Zealand,” Flirtey Chief Executive Officer Matthew Sweeny said.

“Together with companies like Fastway, we have an opportunity to offer safe and reliable technology to turn drone delivery into a reality. As the entire concept and its technology continues to evolve, the sky is the limit. We’re pioneering a future where anything a consumer orders can be delivered directly via an unmanned aerial vehicle.”