Airbus hopes to leverage Singapore's willingness to be a test-bed for innovation with its Skyways project. (Photo courtesy Airbus)
An Airbus vehicle has successfully left its dock to be loaded with a package, navigated to its destination and deposited the parcel at the designated drop-off point.
If this sounds commonplace so far, you should know that it was all autonomously completed by an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for the first time.
As part of the Skyways project that Airbus Helicopters will be launching in earnest later in the year to test fully automated drone delivery in Singapore, this test run that took place Thursday at the National University of Singapore was something of a live proof of concept.
“Today’s flight demonstration paves the way positively to our local trial service launch in the coming months,” said Airbus CTO Alain Flourens. “Safe and reliable urban air delivery is a reality not too distant into the future, and Airbus is certainly excited to be a forerunner in this endeavor.”
Airbus identified that logistics of ensuring that a drone can do its job safely in an urban environment is one of the top challenges facing the project, but expects the live experience to be valuable. The company hopes to develop an economically viable delivery system for cities, and Skyways is one of a number of initiatives that Airbus is pursuing to that end.