Ministry expanding drone package delivery program

ECONOMIC BOON: The ministry plans to open more routes for drone mail delivery, study its commercial viability and use it to deliver goods and medicine

Taipei Times
Date: Mar 02, 2019
By: Chen Yi-chia and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications is to expand a test program to deliver packages to

An unmanned aerial vehicle carrying a package lifts off as a Chunghwa Post Co postal delivery van is parked in Tainan in an undated photograph.Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications

remote communities using uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAV), ministry officials said.

The program’s initial test in October last year delivered a package from Tainan’s Zuojhen District (左鎮) to the office of National Development Council Minister Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶) in Taipei in two days, Department of Post and Telecommunications officials said.

The improved speed and cost-effectiveness of drones in delivering mail and agricultural goods could be a boon to the economies of remote communities, they said.

The ministry’s plan for this year is to open more routes for drone mail delivery, study the commercial viability of using drones to move goods and use a fleet of drones for serum deliveries, they said.

The ministry early this month is to begin charting and drafting flight paths for mail delivery in Chiayi County’s Alishan (阿里山), they said.

The experiment in Zuojhen and Alishan is to determine whether agricultural produce — such as Alishan’s famed tea — could be transported by drones at a reasonable cost, Department Director Hsiao Chia-an (蕭家安) said.

“We need to learn from the experience of foreign countries before the program could be expanded into a regular service,” he said, adding that based on “the department’s initial assessment, the program is viable.”

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