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Ireland’s An Post drones delivery could be solution for remote locations

By Dan Wilson July 12, 2018 - 12:05 pm

There has been much written and said about ecommerce drone delivery since the notion was first mooted by @Amazon some years ago and we know that Amazon itself and others have been investing in the potential of the technology to streamline ecommerce delivery in the years to come. And now An Post drones have been successfully tested in the past week or so.

Ireland’s national postal service An Post has revealed that they have made their first ecommerce drone delivery with various splashes on social media including this tweet and a YouTube video that more fully examines the possibilities of drone delivery and celebrates the recent success.

And here is the video on YouTube:

And what makes the An Post drones approach rather different to the other providers and suppliers we’ve commented on in the past is that they have found a specific role for the new technology within their operations. Rather than seeing a shiny new technology, they have identified a problem that needs resolving. Much of Ireland is remote and rural, and there are addresses that are difficult to reach. And, as in this case, could be on difficult to reach islands served by a perhaps erratic ferry service.

Drones offer a tantalising solution here, as is explored in the video celebrating the first An Post drones delivery from Roonagh Pier in Mayo to Clare Island. The drone can cross the water and be collected by a local An Post operative on arrival to ensure that the customer recipient of the consignment is satisfied. An Post is no longer reliant on the existing services to the island. (That said even a drone will be impacted by wild Irish weather.)

The problem with other services and their experiemnetations has been the uncertainty about how delivery might be considered flawless and successful. An Post has answered the criticism in this case and we can easily see how this could also be something adopted by Royal Mail in more rural and distant parts the the UK that still want the Universal Service.

  • james
    4 months ago

    I must say i’m entirely under-whelmed by this proof-of-concept.

    it hasn’t really solved any problem, has it?
    you could still get parcels to the island before, it was just expensive and impractical.
    well it’s still expensive and impractical.

    that’s a tiny, tiny parcel.
    it’s still boxed for courier mail, meaning the item inside is even tinier.
    and still gets single-handed collection by a posty who needs to hand-deliver it with the rest of the mail.

    if you were willing to pay for it, you could have your engagement ring flown to the island by helicopter, i doubt this solution worked out much cheaper, and wouldn’t really work with anything else.

    i know drones are the buzzword right now, but that comes about through their potential to be the next big thing. to demonstrate that they’re really not that useful, say you don’t expect them to be…. well why bother?

    you could have done a far more succesful proof-of-concept with, say, an unmanned submarine of some kind. it would get that parcel, plus many others of much larger weights, across that water, cheaper and more efficiently, and still work in adverse weather.
    hell, you could have fired it out a cannon with similar results.

    but hey, drones! wanna buy some An-Post cos we did a drone thing? super.

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