You know which organization doesn't want to fall behind Amazon, DHL and Alibaba when it comes to drone deliveries? The Swiss Post. Yes, Switzerland's postal service wants to deliver small packages using small drones. In fact, it will start using quadcopters developed by a company called Matternet to drop off its customers' parcels during a pilot program this summer. Matternet ONE can carry anything up to 2.2 pounds for over 12 miles on a single charge, and the Post will put it to the test delivering small things like medicine or documents.
The pilot program, according to the company, serves as "a Proof of Concept to clarify the legal framework, consider local conditions and explore the technical and business capabilities of the drones." Matternet isn't a new player by any means -- it's already used its drones to deliver meds in Haiti -- so the Swiss Post chose a great partner for the project. "Our product is vertically integrated into a complete transportation solution. Swiss Post comes to us, we supply them all the technology (drones, landing pads, batteries, charging stations, cloud software) and they just focus on operations," one of its founders, Andreas Raptopoulos, told TechCrunch. If this first run is successful, the postal service hopes to go through two more rounds of pilot testing to determine how viable delivery drones truly are.