Singapore Post delivered mail in the city-state on Thursday, using a drone that authenticated the recipient and delivered to a location the user chose.
The test flight which took five minutes and flew 2 kilometers carried a letter as well as t-shirt in a packet. See video here.
The trial is part of SingPost’s strategy to establish itself as an e-commerce logistics provider, including point-to-point last-mile delivery of packages by drones as one of its services.
The postal service did not, however, disclose when it planned to make the service available commercially.
SingPost has developed a secure authentication system and an app for users to ensure that the package is delivered to the intended recipient, said Bernard Leong, head of digital services at the company, in a video. Users will be able to select their preferred delivery date and time through the app, he added.
Singapore allows the use of drones but requires permits both for the operator and the kind of activity.
The battery-operated drone used in the trial was built by Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, an information and communications technology promotional agency, on the open-source Pixhawk Steadidrone platform, and can carry a payload of up to 0.5 kilograms for a distance of 2.3 km at a height of 45 meters, according to SingPost.
The focus of the flight was to test drone technology and safety, SingPost said.