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Meet the mechanical mailman

Could drones soon replace the good old-fashioned postman? In Singapore the answer might be yes: the country’s national postal service has just announced it has completed a trial drone delivery in partnership with the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA).

According to an official press release, “SingPost’s exploration of the drone technology is a move to provide enhanced end-to-end solutions to facilitate urban logistics as well as tap on the burgeoning eCommerce growth in Asia Pacific.”

The drone was able to deliver a small package (consisting of a letter and a T-shirt) to an address over two kilometres away, in less than five minutes. This particular model can fly at an altitude of up to 45 metres, and can travel up to 2.5 kilometres. It is also “complemented” with a security app which ensures the drone reaches its destination safely, and delivers its cargo to the correct person.

SingPost maintain that this will not have an impact on the livelihoods of its human staff, but rather that the use of drone technology will enable the company to redistribute personnel to other areas, in a bid to improve all-round speed, efficiency and quality of service.

While SingPost currently operates in 22 countries, the IDA drone will only be deployed in Singapore — and even then, only when rigorous safety and security measures have been established, and permission to fly commercial drones has been granted by the government.

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