My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: DHL Parcelcopters make deliveries to Juist off Germany’s coast – Why Progress of Drones in West slower than in the East for same-day delivery

Monday, September 29, 2014

DHL Parcelcopters make deliveries to Juist off Germany’s coast – Why Progress of Drones in West slower than in the East for same-day delivery

While Google X Labs Project Wing Delivery Drone is busy delivering Chocolate Bars and Dog food in the Queensland in the Australian Outback, one actual delivery company, Deutsche Post aka DHL has launched what may be the first Semi-autonomous Delivery Service in European Union.

I’m of course referring to DHL’s Parcelcopter, which started making deliveries from the German mainland to the tiny island of Juist in the far north of the country on Thursday September 25th 2014 as reported in the article “UP, UP AND AWAY! DHL DRONE IN GERMANY TO START MAKING DELIVERIES THIS WEEK”, published September 25, 2014 By Trevor Mogg, DigitalTrends and “Drone delivery: DHL 'parcelcopter' flies to German isle”, published Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:55pm EDT, Reuters.

UPS and FedEx in the US of A must be green with envy as regulations in the US of A to allow Drone deliveries won’t come on-stream until 2015 as stated in my blog article entitled “UPS and FedEx developing their Own Delivery Drones to compete with Amazon PrimeAir - Premium Rush Package Delivery Drones herald the coming of Google's Personal Androids that are Almost Human”.

DHL delivers to Juist off Germany’s coast – Parcelcopter for same-day delivery Services 

Their parcelcopter, which has been undergoing testing for the past year, finally got clearance from the German Authorities to do Parcel deliveries, specifically medication. Based on this island’s location, would take awhile by boat, plane or ferry to get patients their essential medication. The route to the island of Juist, just 12 km north of Germany located in the North Sea but within Germany's Territorial Waters.

Their population of 1500 apparently has a lot of overdue parcels and mail due to their lack of a bridge, albeit they do get a daily ferry service and occasional flights. Thanks to the fact that the air route from Nordeich Hafen to Juist means that the Drone hardly passes over residential areas and mainly flies over the North Sea. Thus it’s guaranteed not to kill anyone if it falls out of the sky, save for the idle German Fisherman of course.

DHL Parcelcopter, which a 5 kg Quadracopter (4 rotors), is capable of carrying up to 1.2 kg (2.6 lb) and has a top speed of 65 km/h (40 mph). Like Google X Labs Project Wing Delivery Drone in the Queensland, Australian Outback as described in my blog article entitled “Google X Labs Project Wing - How to own a Global Satellite based Semi-Autonomous VTOL Drone Delivery Service” its flight is semi-autonomous.


DHL has opted for remote monitoring via an attached camera to keep track of its flight and possibly maintain a flight log for the Quadracopter. No personal deliveries; the parcelcopter lands at a designated spot where an island representative (Postmistress perhaps?) awaits its arrival after being informed that the Parcelcopter is coming in the next 15 to 30 minutes.

Drones for Good – Progress of Drones in West slower than in the East, but we’re getting there

Not sure how this can compete effectively with the ferry service that can already carry larger packages. I suspect it's the option for Juist residents to have same-day delivery of items they may have purchased online in the mainland.

Possibly too, this may be a service being offered to Amazon Prime subscriber in Germany who can now request same day delivery of their products. Ironic, as Amazon PrimeAir is yet to get off the ground and will not until 2015 as stated in my blog article entitled “Amazon plans to launch Amazon PrimeAir, their 30 minute Drone Package Delivery Service for Amazon Prime users - Playing Catch-up as Mailpak launches DealBug in Jamaica”.

Good to note that since I first did an article on a possible Drone Delivery Service in my Geezam blog article entitled “Skycam Jamaica Aerial Photography marks possible Revival of Package Delivery in the Jamaica Postal Service”, I’m yet to see progress on this front in the US of A or even Jamaica, where regulations on Drone usage by the JCAA (Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority) are fairly light!

China is clearly ahead with SF Express in Shanghai, China, with Zookal, a Text book delivery Drone in Australia reppin’ for the Aussies as stated in my blog article entitled “SF Express Drones in China Deliver Cake and Zookal Drones deliver Rental Textbooks - How Drones and smartphones in Jamaica can revive the Postal Service via Personal One-Day Delivery Service”.

Even the UAE (United Arab Emirates) Government has started using Drones, mainly to deliver Government Documents. They’re now expanded their love for these mechanical eagles to a competition called Drones for Good where local and international Designers get rewarded prizes as high as US$1,000,000 to develop Drones for civilian usages as chronicled in my blog article entitled “United Arab Emirates starts Drones for Good Competition - How Jamaica can jumpstart Drone Designs as UAE pursues Lazy route to the Google of Drone Design and Application”.

Currently the FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) has given the thumbs up for use of Drones by hobbyist so long as that usage is not for commercial usage, somewhat similar to RC Aircraft as stated in my blog article entitledFAA ok’s Drones for Hobbyist – Study to determine Commercial Drone Risk as Amazon, UPS and FedEx Drones get the Kibosh until 2015”.

The FAA will complete their researching developing regulations for Commercial Drone usage in the US of A by 2015. So Amazon, FedEx and UPS don’t have long to wait until they too can have their own Parcelcopters like DHL in Germany.



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