World-first trial delivers mail by drone in Singapore’s island
Video from SingPost via The Straits Times/Asia News Network
SINGAPORE—A world-first trial to use a drone to deliver mail has been completed by SingPost and the the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).
In a statement to the Singapore Exchange, SingPost said a letter and a T-shirt in a parcel were transported by drone from Lorong Halus to Pulau Ubin—a distance of about 2 km, and taking about five minutes.
IDA worked on the drone so it could be used by SingPost.
Ms Jacqueline Poh, IDA managing director, said: “The successful conclusion of this trial shows how SingPost is thinking out of the box and its willingness to expand its traditional mail delivery model in innovative ways.
“Although it will be a while before it is viable for drone mail delivery to take off in Singapore, taking into consideration commercial and safety factors, this first step by SingPost and IDA demonstrates what Singapore is trying out with our Smart Nation vision—to have the various parts of our ecosystem collaborate, experiment with new ways of doing things, and in the process, literally aim for the sky with new technology.”
SingPost said the drone is equipped with enhanced safety features and is complemented with a prototype app designed with security and verification features that ensures the mail reaches its intended recipient.
It has the capacity to carry a payload of up to half a kilogram, fly at a height of up to 45 m and travel a distance of 2.3 km. The focus of the flight was to test the drone technology and safety boundaries.
Dr Wolfgang Baier, SingPost group chief executive, said: “SingPost is pioneering eCommerce logistics across Asia-Pacific and building ecosystems to facilitate eCommerce for businesses as well as end consumers.
“We are seeing success in our digital transformation which did not happen overnight. Our success is made possible through collaborations with industry experts and our business partners. Now, we want to make innovation more accessible and bring more tangible benefits to our customers and consumers.”
He said the use of drones—technically known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) —offered “immense potential” in the burgeoning market of e-commerce delivery.
In its statement, SingPost said: “This is the first time in the world a postal service has successfully used an UAV for point-to-point recipient-authenticated mail delivery.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.