Watch: Drone delivers parcels in successful test flight in Oman

The pilot run focused on testing a fully autonomous drone to deposit packages across various terrains, distances, and weather conditions



File photo
File photo

By Web Desk

Published: Wed 5 Oct 2022, 8:30 PM

Last updated: Wed 5 Oct 2022, 8:31 PM

Aramex announced today that it has successfully completed the pilot phase of its “Future Delivery Program” in Muscat, Oman. The test flights were conducted in partnership with USA-based UVL Robotics, a technological leader offering cutting-edge drone-based solutions with AI for logistics.

The drone testing is part of Aramex’s “Future Delivery Program” aimed at leveraging the next generation of last-mile delivery solutions, including drones and autonomous vehicles to boost delivery efficiencies, improve customer satisfaction, and generate cost savings in last-mile delivery.

This test is the first of a multi-phase program as Aramex aims to fully transition its fleet to emission-free electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The pilot focused primarily on testing a fully autonomous drone to deliver parcels safely and efficiently across various terrains, distances, and weather conditions in Muscat.

Alaa Saoudi, Chief Operating Officer – Express at Aramex, said: “Rolling out the Future Delivery Program demonstrates Aramex’s market leadership in last-mile solutions in the region. We believe the next generation of last-mile solutions, including drones and autonomous vehicles, will be a game-changer as it ensures efficient delivery while being eco-friendly.

Through the successful drone delivery testing with UVL Robotics, we have proven that these automated modes of delivery will enable us to further enhance the speed, accessibility, and reliability of package deliveries, especially to remote areas with hard-to-reach terrain. In addition, the program will support our sustainability ambitions to significantly cut our greenhouse gas emissions and reach carbon neutrality by 2030.”

Angad Singh, Global Director - Innovation of Aramex, added that the autonomous drone technology could potentially cut transit times by half in complex routes, allowing them to "accelerate the delivery of packages across different sectors including e-commerce, healthcare, and pharmaceuticals amongst others. We look forward to scaling up this product for our customers and deploying it across all markets where we operate.”

Moosa Al Balushi, Regional Director for UVL in the MENA Region, said: “We strongly believe that last mile delivery by drone is the important part of future logistics and one of key goals in business‘ sustainability strategy. Drones produce 26 time less CO2 emissions than cars, which has a positive impact on the region's ecology.

Moreover, use of drones can significantly reduce operating costs and almost triple the time it takes to deliver a package to hard-to-reach locations.”

Aramex plans to expand its drone delivery testing across the Middle East region, as well as other core markets where it operates. The company plans to test a multi-modal approach that will include a combination of drones and other electric and autonomous vehicles for last-mile deliveries.

Currently, its Jordan operations have deployed electric vehicles with continuous electric vehicle testing across Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt. Aramex also plans to deploy an electric fleet across its core markets as a part of its wider sustainability mandate.

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