Posti, a postal, logistics and e-commerce services company in Finland, is carrying out a four-day experiment to test unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for delivery and transport tasks.
The aircraft will fly beyond line of sight in Helsinki between the mainland and the island of Suomenlinna, a Unesco World Heritage Site. According to Posti, this is the first time drone deliveries are being tested in Finland and the first time in Europe they are being tested in an inhabited, urban environment.
The UAV will carry parcels to Suomenlinna from Sept. 2-5. Flight distance, on average, is approximately 4 km between the mainland and Suomenlinna. This experiment includes only parcels under 3 kg.
Posti’s partners in the experiment include Sharper Shape Ltd., which is responsible for the technology and operation of the drone, and Verkkokauppa.com, an online store in Finland. The experiment has been authorized by the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi) through the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
Verkkokauppa.com’s customers at Suomenlinna will have an opportunity to participate in the experiment and have their parcels delivered to them by air. During the experiment, selected parcels of a suitable weight and type will depart from the observation deck of the Verkkokauppa.com store at Jätkäsaari three times a day. The public is welcome to watch the flights.
Sharper Shape’s Next Eagle UAV will use a laser-based observation system, which automatically connects with the steering system to maximize safety and prevent collisions. The connection between the remote operator and aircraft is based on multiple parallel communications links, ensuring that the connection is never lost.
“As an aviation authority, Trafi wants to encourage trial projects with unmanned aircraft. Our aim is to create an excellent environment for the testing, development and operation of unmanned aircraft,” says Jukka Hannola, chief advisor at Trafi.