Drones across the water
Swiss Post and Matternet are ramping up their drone delivery testing programme over the next few weeks, with a new route that will include a flight over Lake Zurich.
As previously reported by Post&Parcel, Swiss Post and drone maker Matternet have already run successful trials in Lugano and Berne, delivering laboratory samples between medical centres.
In the latest tests – which began on Wednesday (20 June) – the test drone will follow a flight path from the main laboratory of ZLZ Zentrallabor Zürich on Forchstrasse to the ZLZ emergency laboratory at the Hirslanden Klinik Im Park.
In a statement posted on its website today (22 June), Swiss Post said: “The previous transport via road went around Lake Zurich. By contrast, the drone will fly directly over Lake Zurich, cutting down the transport time considerably. This means that the laboratory samples will reach their destination about five times faster by drone. That is time which can be extremely valuable for medical staff and, in turn, for patients.”
Marco Fischer, managing director of the ZLZ, commented: “With drone transport, we’re less reliant on the traffic situation in Zurich. The faster the lab samples reach us, the faster we can get the results back to the patient.”
The tests will run for two weeks.
“During this time we will evaluate the concrete added value for the ZLZ Zentrallabor Zürich. Thanks to the use of drones, the transport of laboratory samples will become more flexible, ecological and, of course, faster,” said Claudia Pletscher, Head of Development & Innovation at Swiss Post.
The medical company will use the results of the tests to decide if it wants to go ahead with more drone deliveries. Swiss Post is certainly a supporter of the new technology, as it notes in today’s statement: “Swiss Post believes in drones as a logistics solution. The strong interest in the healthcare sector and over 1,000 successful flights in Lugano have underlined the suitability of the transport methods for special consignments such as laboratory samples.”