Delivering a package by air in a small mountain village in the Chartreuse mountains, in just 8 minutes from the valley, this is the feat that is now able to achieve the Post with a drone. The presentation of this regular delivery line by drone took place last Friday in Isère.

A first line was opened from December 2016 in the Var, but this is the first time in France that this type of flights, subject to authorization from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC), is carried out in a mountain area in the heart of the Alps.

This is concretely to connect the small town of Fontanil-Cornillon, located north of the agglomeration of Grenoble, the village of Mont-Saint-Martin (760 m), on the foothills of the Chartreuse. It is DPD, a subsidiary of the Post Office, which manages the flights of this “flying factor” quite particular

In Fontanil-Cornillon, a take-off platform comes out of a DPD truck parked along the roadside. On the platform, the drone is ready to take off. Under the device is a small compartment that encloses the package to be delivered. No question, therefore, to carry very large packs during this Christmas period.

 “The package can not exceed a weight of 2 kg and a dimension of 31 cm long by 15 cm wide and 10 cm high,” says Vincent Martinet, head of DPD Moirans (Isère).

Eight minutes instead of thirty

“A delivery man usually takes 30 minutes to go up to Mont-Saint-Martin and go back down, that’s 20 km. The drone, flying at 30 km / h, will take just 8 minutes to achieve this round trip, he adds. And it also avoids cluttering a small mountain road that can be accidental.

“In a company truck, José Pérez, delivery driver for DPD, programs the flight of the drone from a computer: “Everything is automated thanks to software and a GPS system. The drone goes all alone and goes to the parcel delivery terminal (note: a large metal compartment two meters high) installed in the heart of the village of Mont-Saint-Martin, near the town hall.

Once there, the drone drops the parcel in this secure terminal and comes to rest on the truck. All the flight is monitored remotely to verify that there is no problem. “

A package to recover in a secure container

An SMS and an email are then sent to the recipient, who can pick up the package at any time of the day in the terminal.

“We are coming in a winter period. In the Alps, snow falls regularly in these mountain areas and can prevent a traditional delivery man from climbing to Mont-Saint-Martin. Thanks to the drone, we can still send packages to the village, “says Jean-Luc Defrance, director of drones and autonomous vehicles at DPD group.

Last advantage in this period of fight against global warming: the drone does not emit CO2. It works with electric motors that can be powered by solar energy.

UAV DACH: Beitrag im Original auf, mit freundlicher Genehmigung von UAS Vision automatisch importiert. Der Beitrag gibt nicht unbedingt die Meinung oder Position des UAV DACH e.V. wieder. Das Original ist in englischer Sprache.