Logistics firm DHL is using a drone to fly parcels to the German island of Juist, in what it says is the first time an unmanned aircraft has been authorized to deliver goods in Europe.
The company said the quad-rotor “DHL Parcelopter” will begin daily flights Friday, bringing a maximum load of 1.2 kilograms (2.65 pounds) of medicine to the German island of Juist. The island has about 1,500 inhabitants. It’s usually served by one ferry per day and an occasional small-aircraft flight, depending on the weather. This ingenious drone can fly at up to 65 km (40 miles) an hour.
This ingenious drone using 4 rotors can fly at up to 65 km (40 miles) an hour. DHL will be keeping tabs on the parcelcopter’s travels, but the drone will operate entirely on autopilot for the actual fights, which should take between 15 and 30 minutes in each direction.
However, critics of delivery drones have raised concerns over privacy and whether the technology is safe, saying drones could hit even people. DHL’s drone can’t fly over any houses, which should avoid complaints from Juist’s privacy-minded inhabitants.
The company announced that it currently has no concrete plans for full-scale regular drone deliveries.