Chinese drone manufacturer XAG signed a joint development agreement with Airbus in July 2019 to launch a delivery service; the team completed their first trial delivery on 26 November in Guangzhou as part of a limited delivery trial when XAG’s Project Vesper Mk1 cargo drone delivered a bowl of noodles over 1.6km. The customer received a notification on their phone about the approaching drone and directions to the nearest locker. This enabled the drone to land at a safe height, separated from people, where the customer can retrieve the delivery. The modified drone has a payload of up to 4 kilos and flies at 12 metres/second below 400 ft.
The objective of the trial is to validate an automated delivery flight from the vendor to the destination and back, across precisely pre-selected pathways. The team combines XAG design experience – operating tens of thousands of small drone flights every day – with Airbus’ expertise in design, engineering, assembly, and certification of aircraft of various form factors. The trial will create feedback cycles to learn and iterate on a drone cargo service in China.
(Image: XAG Project Vesper Delivery Drone)
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