Aerit to offer first home drone delivery services in Sweden
Aerit, the Swedish drone delivery company, has collaborated with the major supermarket chain ICA to provide home drone delivery services. Last week, the company announced the launch of a beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) delivery trial for groceries and general goods to shortlisted Swedish homes.
Through this launch, the company wants to democratize access to goods and services regardless of location, weather, time of day or other limitations.
The trial covered a 38-square-mile radius around ICA Nära Gräddö Skärgrdshandel in Norrtälje, an area north of Stockholm with extreme temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius at the time of trial, with Aerit’s drone Nimbi UAVs.
Nimbi autonomous delivery drones run on batteries and have a payload capacity of up to four kilograms. Package delivery and collection are also made feasible by Nimbi’s ground-breaking hauling technique.
The deliveries were made over six days in challenging weather conditions. Ten of the thirty households that applied for the project were chosen to participate. In the future, customers who download the ICA Pronto mobile app will be able to request delivery.
Alex Perrien, CEO of Aerit, said, “We reliably provided access to goods and services in harsh weather conditions to locations that normally require several modes of transportation to reach.”
The Vinnova-funded pilot project was a collaborative effort between Aerit, ICAx, Research Institutes of Sweden, and Norrtälje Kommun to assess the benefits of drone delivery and study the public perception of the services.
“In addition to the support of Vinnova and our many project partners, none of this would have been possible without the innovative leadership at Transportstyrelsen who is working hard to maintain competitiveness of the Swedish airspace,” Perrien said.
The Norrtälje drone delivery trial was not the first Aerit had completed successfully. During a 2.7-kilometre BVLOS flight last year, the company transmitted a shopping request to Halland County on the southwest coast of Sweden. It was the country’s first commercial UAV delivery trip and second BVLOS operation.
Since its inception in January 2021, Aerit has received regulatory approval for operations under the EASA SORA framework. The company intends to provide consistent delivery services in specific areas throughout Sweden in 2023.
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