Moving towards trial phase of new unmanned aerial package delivery system
Singapore, Airbus Helicopters is collaborating with Singapore Post (SingPost) as its logistics partner for the innovative Skyways parcel delivery project. The announcement was made today at the inaugural Rotorcraft Asia exhibition taking place in Singapore.
The MoU was signed by Jean-Brice Dumont, Airbus Helicopters’ Executive Vice President of Engineering and Chief Technical Officer, and Mervyn Lim, SingPost’s Covering Group CEO.
Skyways is an experimental project to develop a safe and economically viable aerial unmanned parcel delivery system for use in urban environments. A MoU was signed in February 2016 between Airbus Helicopters and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore to conduct the Skyways proof-of-concept trial. The research and development phase is now at an advanced stage, with an initial trial phase planned at NUS by early 2018. This will involve the transport of small packages within the university campus.
Airbus Helicopters is the overall Skyways system architect and provider, contributing its capabilities in drone platforms as well as its concept of future parcel delivery. This concept involves systems and structures that allow drones to land, dock with secure structures, discharge or take on payloads, and then fly off to other destinations.
As the logistics partner for Skyways, SingPost will bring its expertise in software systems that control and manage delivery networks, customer-interface systems and real-time back-end links to a delivery system that serve the last mile. SingPost will also contribute its understanding of postal and eCommerce logistics trends to ensure the solutions developed will address the future logistics needs of cities around the world.
“Skyways was launched with the intent to provide highly efficient, reliable and seamless small parcel deliveries using drones in urban cities. The project has been progressing well and we welcome SingPost onboard as our logistics partner in this critical phase, as we work in tandem to develop a robust autonomous parcel delivery system that will revolutionise the logistics industry,” said Airbus Helicopters’ Executive Vice President of Engineering and Chief Technical Officer Jean-Brice Dumont. “A forerunner in innovation, Airbus strongly believes in improving daily lives by enhancing air mobility in urban spaces, in a safe, secure and reliable manner.”
“Drones and other autonomous vehicles are in the future of the logistics industry. The demonstrator that Airbus Helicopters and SingPost will be developing is designed to address real-world challenges such as safe and accurate flight in high rise cities, while meeting the needs of customers,” said Mervyn Lim, SingPost’s Covering Group CEO. “Our trial will involve SingPost’s parcel locker technology, and this MoU fits well into our long term plans to develop future generations of parcel delivery points that involve drones and the vertical dimension. Together with Airbus Helicopters’ technologists, SingPost’s engineers will be working to ensure the concept meets the future logistics needs of urban environments like Singapore.”
Skyways is one of a number of innovative Urban Air Mobility projects currently being researched at Airbus. These also include the Vahana and CityAirbus autonomous flying vehicle concepts.
Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2016, it generated revenues of €67 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as Europe’s number one space enterprise and the world’s second largest space business. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.
For over 150 years, Singapore Post (SingPost) as the country's postal service provider, has been delivering trusted and reliable services to homes and businesses in Singapore. Today, SingPost is pioneering and leading in eCommerce logistics as well as providing innovative mail and logistics solutions in Singapore and around the world, with operations in 19 markets. Building on its trusted communications through domestic and international postal services, SingPost is taking the lead in end-to-end integrated and digital mail solutions. The suite of SingPost eCommerce logistics solutions includes front end web management, warehousing and fulfilment, last mile delivery and international freight forwarding.