Postal service drone experiment a success

The Finnish postal service is embracing new technology, announcing that it has already experimented with using drones to deliver packages.

Posti Group committed to a four-day trial earlier this month, using unmanned aircraft to deliver objects purchased online to an area between Helsinki and the nearby island of Suomenlinna.

Read more: Less than a third of customers would use drone delivery services

The drone experiment was deemed a success, despite high winds proving disruptive at times, delivering packages of suitable dimensions weighing a maximum of 3kg to addresses that would normally be reached by boat. However, a human pilot was in control of the drone at all times for safety reasons.

Jukka Rosenberg, senior vice president of parcel and logistics services at Posti, believes that his company’s willingness to embrace new technologies has led to customers benefits.

“New technologies make online shopping quicker and easier for both senders and recipients,” he said. “We want to experiment with different delivery options which are feasible in Finland and increase the customers’ freedom of choice.”

The drone delivery project was developed by Posti alongside technology firm Sharper Shape and online retailer Verkkokauppa. It was authorised by the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi) and further trials may be on the way as Finland looks to become one of the first nations to truly embrace drone technology on a commercial scale.

Read more: Drone disruption: The problems caused by unmanned aircraft

Conversely, Amazon has struggled to get its own drone delivery service, Amazon Prime Air, off the ground after facing a number of regulatory issues, notably from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).