North of Grenoble, La Poste now delivers parcels by drone in a mountainous area

Revolution in the delivery of parcels. Between Fontanil-Cornillon, located in the valley north of Grenoble, and Mont-Saint-Martin at height, there are barely 3 km as the crow flies … yet a delivery man has to travel no less than 20 km, about 30 minutes round trip, to deliver a package from point A to point B by road. So, rather than going down the road, why not go through the air ?

La Poste has been authorized by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) to deliver parcels by drone on this line in a mountainous area on the outskirts of Grenoble. According to the calculations made, it takes 8 minutes for the drone to make a return trip between Fontanil-Cornillon and Mont-Saint-Martin.

How it works ?

The drone is concretely launched from a specially arranged truck. Once at the destination, he drop your package in a secure receiving terminal, then returns to his place of departure, allowing the deliveryman to continue his tour. A employee of the town hall of Mont-Saint-Martin will then be able to recover the package for delivery to the recipient.

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The drone can travel up to 15 kilometers carry up to 2 kilos, at a cruising speed of 30 km / h. And in case of trouble in flight, a self-contained parachute can be triggered automatically.

Many mountain interests

Delivery by drone in the mountains offers many interests compared to the truck, describes La Poste. “For the deliveryman, in addition to the time saved, this is a road risk reduction on dangerous and sometimes difficult roads in the mountains, especially in winter“, she says, noting also that the drone does not emit CO2.

We consider that the drone is useful for delivering hard-to-reach areas, in the mountains or in rural areas where the car ride is long“, said a spokeswoman for the group at Agence France Presse.

Second regular line in France

DPD France, a subsidiary of La Poste, already operates a weekly commercial line over 15 km between Saint-Maximin-La-Sainte-Baume and Pourrières (Var)Since December 2016, nearly 190 flights have been completed, with a success rate of 95% – the bad weather conditions having forced to cancel the remaining 5%.

Experiments have proliferated worldwide since 2013. In the United States, the UPS courier services giant recently received the go-ahead from the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) to operate a network of commercial UAVs without limitation of the number of machines in circulation.


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