9.21.2017

Autonomous delivery drone network set to take flight in Switzerland

And the automation isn’t just for the sake of cleverness — it might be crucial to saving lives. Company chief Andreas Raptopoulos expects the drone network to transfer medical supplies within 30 minutes, and the reliability of a largely automated system means that hospitals don’t have to worry about unpredictable delivery times (particularly on the ground).

Don’t expect drones to blanket the skies. Matternet explains that there will only be one or two drones per network, and expansions to Germany and the UK will only happen once it’s comfortable with Switzerland. The company got permission to fly over densely populated urban areas in March, if you want a sense of the time scales involved. Still, this is an honest-to-goodness example of a practical drone delivery network, and one performing crucial tasks at that — this isn’t just a nice-to-have luxury. If this network succeeds, it might persuade other countries to at least consider allowing drone networks..

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