Drone DJ and Freight Waves also reported the news, which was confirmed by a DHL spokesperson. The first DHL parcel drone was test flown in 2013, when it flew over the Rhine, travelled one kilometre and made a successful landing. The drone was controlled from the ground and its route was marked so that the controller could follow it all the way.
It took another three years for the company to send a self-guiding drone to an isolated spot in the Alps with a third-generation drone. The original plan was for the vehicles to deliver various supplies of medicine and food to hard-to-reach places (such as accident or disaster sites) as quickly as possible.
But DHL decided to suspend the trial because, despite the positive benefits of the device, it had not solved a number of technical problems. So, for the time being, drone delivery is certainly not a viable service. Moreover, the innovation has not proved to be a good business decision either, as there is not enough demand due to the high costs. And speed alone is no guarantee of success, as people will only pay for such services if there is a real emergency.
Amazon also experimented with this in 2013, with a project called Prime Air, which the company suspended shortly afterwards. Although DHL’s drones are still in circulation, their clock is ticking.