DHL has now sent over 100 packages with drones, while companies like amazon are still struggling with air restrictions. The trial stayed local in the Bavarian town of Reit im Winkl, a small town known for forestry and skiing. The residents would drop off packages at “packstation” at which point drones take over the rest of the shipping process.
Focusing the drones—which DHL adorably refers to as “parcelcopters”—within a small area allowed for quick speeds. Used from from January through March of this year, the drones were able to complete five mile trips that usually take half an hour during the winter within eight minutes.
DHL thanked the German government, saying that the creation of a special restricted flight zone was crucial to the success of the project. It’s something Amazon would surely kill to get out the U.S. government. Some say that Amazon’s famously aggressive stature has actually worsened its chance at a speedy approval, leading to severe pushback from unions and safety advocates. The company has threatened that it would move its drone program overseas, closer to the friendly environs seen by DHL. Regardless of where Amazon’s technology goes, though, it’ll never be able to say it was first.