In a unique pilot project, Rossmann carried out a test flight from the Savoya Park shopping centre to the suburban area of the 3rd district. With the help of its logistics partner DODO, Rossmann is testing drone home delivery in Budapest, the chain said in a statement.
According to the statement, the initial phase of the test will examine how quickly the drones can deliver orders, how long it takes to place the packages, take off and land. The first test flight, which has not yet been loaded, lasted 14 minutes and was planned to cover a long distance and varied terrain in the capital’s airspace, partly over the Danube, from the XIth district to the IIIrd district.
As it turned out, the drone travelled at an altitude of 20-50 metres at an average speed of 50 kilometres per hour, with the appropriate permits and taking care to ensure safety. The next test flight will deliver the package and, if regulators allow it, the actual delivery of the shipments could begin later. The results of the Hungarian trial would later be used by DODO abroad, after the company entered the Czech and Polish markets in 2018, and is now present in Austria, Bulgaria, Germany and Slovakia.
According to the release, Rossmann already sees drone delivery as a key solution for e-commerce, and many see the next big leap in the evolution of home delivery, where the success of industrial applications could lay the groundwork for the future of commercial drone use.
Elsewhere, things are more advanced, obviously due to different regulations and market conditions: retail chain Walmart, for example, already offers drone delivery for a small surcharge in seven US states, where robots have fulfilled a total of 6,000 orders in the past year.
In Europe, the Swiss Postal Service (Swiss Post) is widely touted as an organisation that has pioneered drone logistics since 2017 and was one of the first companies worldwide to use drones to deliver laboratory samples between hospitals and laboratories. While the operations have proven that drones are an excellent way to transport specialised items urgently, the Post said it did not see the cost-intensive devices being profitable to operate in the medium term, and the project has since been handed over to a company called Matternet.