Drones set to deliver mail in India

In a world in which countless methods of sending mail electronically and instantly, there are still people and organisations that insist on sending messages on pieces of paper wrapped in paper envelopes.

We guess there still good reasons for physical mail to still exist – and while it does, there should be ways to make it to make it reach its destinations fast.

That is why innovative mail entities like Royal Mail in the United Kingdom has succeeded in deploying drones to deliver mail around a number of islands in the British monarch – so much that the mail, parcel delivery and courier company will be scaling up operations by opening up 50 drone routes and deploying 500 drones in the coming three years.

It is a remarkable ambition – and one that the Indian government’s postal body is keen to emulate.

India Post – the statutory body charged with the responsibility to deliver mail in the Asian country – has entered a partnership with a local drone start-up to try mail delivery by drone.

And last Tuesday, Gurugram-based TechEagle Innovations said its drone had successfully delivered mail in Gujarat, in a pioneer development that could usher postal deliveries by drones in the near future.

In a statement, the Ahmedabad Press Information Office said that under the guidance of the Union Ministry of Communications, the mail was transported from Habay Village in the Bhuj taluka (sub-district) to Ner Village in the Bhachau taluka in the district of Kutch.

The drone took 25 minutes to deliver the parcel to the located destination, 46kms away.

“With the success of this pilot project, it will be possible to deliver mail through drones in future,” the statement said.

“Staying in step with modern technology, the Indian Postal Department has conducted a successful pilot test for the first time in the country with the help of drones to deliver mail in Kutch, Gujarat.”

TechEagle used the Vertiplane X3, the new hybrid-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) 100-km range drone that it launched last month. Touted as the fasted drone in India, it has a top speed of 120km/hour and can carry payloads up to 3kg heavy.

It has the capability to take off and land vertically like a helicopter from a small area of 5mX5m.

The pilot project was aimed at testing the operational and technical feasibility of drone deliveries in the region along with commercial scalability, TechEagle said.

“It was quite remarkable for the drone delivery revolution in the country as it was the longest Drone delivery in a single flight and that too in a harsh weather environment with a wind speed of more than 30 km/hour,” said Vikram Singh Meena, founder-CEO, TechEagle.

The company’s chief of operations said TechEagle’s focus emphasised on technology needs that create real value for society by providing better accessibility to services.

“The TechEagle is proud to partner with India Post, which is the most widely-distributed postal department in the world, to deliver parcels to remote and rural areas,” he said, adding that the mail project targeted at enabling faster deliveries across the country be it in both the urban and rural areas.

“The learnings from the project would help stakeholders to scale up and commercialise the drone delivery of mail across the country.”

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