NEWS: French Postal Service Begins Drone Deliveries

dronelaposte
The French General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) has authorized DPDgroup, an international express subsidiary of Groupe La Poste, to deliver parcels by drone on a regular commercial line in the Var. After the testing phase, we now undertake the experimental phase on this 15 km line in the Var.After two years of successful testing, DPDgroup, the international parcel delivery network of GeoPost, an international Express subsidiary of the La Poste Group, has received authorization from the General Directorate of Civil Aviation to deliver packages by drone on a Regular line of 15km.For the first time in the world, a regular commercial line makes it possible to deliver packages by drone. Once a week the drone of DPDgroup connects Saint-Maximin-La-Sainte-Baume to Pourrières, in the Var. This line delivers an isolated business incubator that brings together a dozen start-ups in the field of technology. From now on, their parcels delivered by Chronopost and DPD France will be shipped by drone from the Pickup relay in Saint-Maximin. 
A new way of answering the problem of the last kilometer, especially to access areas difficult to access.At the start and at the arrival of the drone, a delivery terminal makes it possible to secure the phases of loading of the parcel, take-off and landing until the parcel is removed.This terminal consists of:

  • Of a structure protecting access to the drone during its landing and take-off phases,
  • Of an automated carriage conveying the parcel,
  • Of an electronics dedicated to the securing of the manipulations around the drone

The drone is then piloted by an operator approved by the DGAC.

A long-standing project

In June 2014, DPDgroup, in partnership with Atechsys, a small company in the Var, began testing to develop this drone. After numerous tests and more than 600 flight hours, the DPDgroup drone demonstrated, in September 2015, its full autonomy flight capability by carrying a 1.5kg package over a distance of 14 km.

These tests validate the approach chosen by DPDgroup to use drones to access isolated areas (mountains, islands, rural areas, etc.) or difficult to access.

This first line of business is a new step in the program led by DPDgroup. After the test phase, the experiment phase is now started on a regular line.

Technical characteristics of the drone:

  • Autonomy: up to 20km
  • Payload: up to 3kg
  • Cruising Speed: 30km / h
  • Navigation system with transmission range up to 50Km
  • 6 Electric rotors, carbon fiber frame
  • Latest generation on-board electronics
  • Embedded GPS and camera with data transmission
  • Redundant electronics
  • Stand-alone parachute (detects anomalies during flight and automatically trips in the event of a fall)

About DPDgroup
DPDgroup is the international network package delivery, number 2 in Europe. DPDgroup combines innovative technologies and local know-how to offer simple and flexible services to both shippers and recipients. With its Predict service, DPDgroup sets new service standards by putting the customer at the heart of the delivery process. With 60,000 experts and a network of more than 26,000 relay points, DPDgroup delivers 3.6 million parcels to 230 countries each day through its four brands: DPD, Chronopost, SEUR and Interlink Express.
DPDgroup is GeoPost’s parcel delivery network with revenues of 5.7 billion euros this year.GeoPost is a holding company owned by the La Poste Group.

About Atechsys and the Center for Studies and Testing for Autonomous Models (CEEMA)
Atechsys was born from the idea that each use require particular drone. Where drones are manufactured on the shelf, Atechsys develops technological bricks which, assembled, make it possible to construct a drone perfectly adapted to the specifications of the customer. This is the 3rd generation drone. This unique positioning on the market, coupled with mastery of the entire value chain, enables Atechsys to standardize its offering. With 9 employees and 650 k € turnover in 2013, Atechsys is one of the market leaders in the professional civilian drone market.
CEEMA is the first test center for civilian drones in Europe. Founded in 2008, this 65 ha aeronautical platform has become a reference in this field. The center has, in particular, a reserved aerial area allowing the deployment of drones up to 150 kg. In 2010, the CEEMA launches the first business incubator dedicated to the civil applications of the drone. Certified by the State services in 2013, this stimulating and reassuring ecosystem for the entrepreneur now houses 15 companies and has created some thirty sustainable jobs.

Source: Press Release

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