Airbus' Skyways project will test drones as package delivery vehicles in Singapore. Photo courtesy Airbus.
Airbus plans to use unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to test unmanned package delivery in Singapore in the first half of 2018.
The project, called Skyways, is being conducted in partnership with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore. Small packages will be loaded automatically onto the drones by a robotic arm, and they will be delivered to designated stations at the National University of Singapore, where they will be stored in lockers for recipients on campus to retrieve.
The trial phase this year will consist of five or six drones being used for several months to provide data for Airbus, according to Skyways project lead Leo Jeoh. The drones will use pre-determined aerial corridors to ensure that there are no collisions with other traffic.
According to Jeoh, Singapore “already has efficient delivery services … [but] is a fantastic test bed for new technologies and business models. The combined support of the [Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore] and an innovation-friendly government creates an ideal environment to perfect the system and roll it out faster than in other locations.”