My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: SingPost Postal Package Delivery Drones - Why Postal Corporation of Jamaica Mini-Drone Airports for Jamaica

Friday, October 9, 2015

SingPost Postal Package Delivery Drones - Why Postal Corporation of Jamaica Mini-Drone Airports for Jamaica

Looks like the Mail has sprouted wings and taken to the skies, at least in Singapore!

Meanwhile Americans are cringing as they just got beaten again by yet another Developing World country like Rwanda as I’d declared in my blog article entitled “Rwanda plans world's first Drone Airport - How the Land of 1000 hills will be connected by a Network of Drones”.

Singapore's Postal Service, SingPost, in collaboration with IDS (Infocomm Development Authority) of Singapore has tested the delivery of Postal Mail via Drone as reported in the article “Singapore testing Drone delivery of snail mail”, published October 8, 2015 by Aloysius Low, CNET News.


The delivery, which took five (5) minute, involved the delivery of a T-shirt and a letter to a SingPost employee on an island 2 km away waiting to complete the delivery. According to a Press Release by SingPost titled SINGPOST COLLABORATES WITH IDA TO DEVELOP FIRST DRONE FOR MAIL DELIVERY, this is the first time in the world a Postal service has successfully used an UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) for point-to-point recipient-authenticated mail delivery. 

That means the letter wasn't delivered based on just GPS coordinate alone, but was authenticated via an App that the recipient has on their smartphone. 

Singapore is no stranger to using Drones to replace people, especially waiters as in the case of the Timbre Group in Singapore as explained in my blog article entitled “Singaporean Timbre Group uses @InfiniumRobotic Drones as Waiters – Why Labour Shortage in Singapore means Robot Waiters are coming”.

Amazon and Google just got beaten yet again as they’re still waiting on the FAA (Federal Aviation Authority)'s approval by 2016 as declared in my blog article entitled “@NASA Air Traffic Control System – Why @Google, @Amazon and @Verizonwireless want an ATC ahead of FAA's New Guidelines in 2016”. 

So how is this delivery special? And what does this mean for the delivery of mail for Postal Workers in Jamaica?

SingPost Postal Package Delivery Drones - World's first recipient-authenticated Postal Delivery

The Alpha Drones were built using the Pixhawk Steadidrone Platform and are Quadcopters (4 propellers) as reported in the article “Drone Postal deliveries could mean the mailman’s days are numbered in Singapore”, published October 8, 2015 By David Curry, Digitaltrend.
 


A unique feature about these Drones is that the package is placed on the top in the line of the center of gravity of the Drone, instead of underneath. In order to open the deliver box, the user has to authenticate via a Mobile App before they can open the box.

The Pixhawk Steadidrone Platform Drones used in this inaugural test flight has the following specs:

1.      Max payload: 0.5kg
2.      Ceiling: 45 meters
3.      Range: 2.3 kilometers

The test flight was focused on testing Drone technology, recipient-authenticated mail delivery as well as the safety of using Frones to deliver packages in remote and urban areas. In case anyone decided to shoot down the Drone, it comes equipped with a parachute to ensure a soft landing, albeit that won't protect the contents from being stolen.

Still, a self destruct mechanism for important messages would make this Drone particularly useful, especially if it's carrying government documents as in the United Arab Emirates as reported 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”. 

SingPost Postal Package Delivery Drones - Why Singaporean Postal workers may soon be Drone Pilots

SingPost delivers to some 22 Countries in South Asia but this Drone Delivery service will be used only within Singapore for difficult hard-to-reach rural communities to improve their Postal Delivery Services.

After doing some more retesting, they'll seek approval from the Singapore government as well as the Singapore Aviation Authority specifying the number of Drones to be added to their fleet.


The Postal worker will most likely have to retrain to become a Drone pilot or lose their work, which isn't so bad, consider in that they’ll be well paid for a while as argued in my blog article entitled “FAA to allow Commercial Drones in 2015 - US$100,000 per year for 100,000 Drone Pilot jobs for the next five years”.

So it's not all doom and gloom for Postal Workers; they'll still have jobs, just not delivering mail by foot, but most likely as Drone Pilots, once SingPost has figured out all the bugs.

So could something like this be coming to Jamaica??

60% of Postal Corporation of Jamaica Postal Agencies to close - Mobile Postal Delivery Service being considered

Quite possibly, as Minister Paulwell in March 2015 had made it known that he has plans for the Postal Corporation of Jamaica to go Mobile, which suggests Frones as argued in my blog article entitled “Postal Corporation of Jamaica Goes Mobile - How Mobile Postal Offices might incorporate Autonomous Drone Delivery”. 

Granted the closure of Post offices is in the works as pointed out by Postmaster General Michael Gentles, who has pointed out that the 551 Postal Offices and Agencies are unprofitable as noted in the article “Unprofitable Postal service to cut offices”, published Wednesday, April 22, 2015 BY ALPHEA SAUNDERS Senior staff reporter, The Jamaica Observer
 

He told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament on Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 that the Postal Service has been unprofitable for the past five to six years, despite a JA$2.1 billion allocation, quote: “In fact, over the past five or six years, we have consistently run a deficit close to $500 million, and the issue is that the present network which we have is unsustainable, and the reality is that there is going to have to be a drastic reduction in our network, in the region of 60 per cent”.

60% of 551 Postal Offices and Agencies is a lot of persons out of work, which probably explain why Minister of Science, Technology Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell began playing the defensive strategy a few days later on Friday, April 24th, 2015, claiming no actual number of Postal Offices and Agencies had been planned for closure as reported in the article “Pauwell: No radical post office closures this year”, published Friday, April 24, 2015, The Jamaica Observer.

So what does Minister of Science, Technology Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell plan to do?

Jamaican Postal Drone Pilots - Drone Airports for Postal Service to Jumpstart Jamaica Drone Developement Industry

Still whatever their decision, Vans carrying packages is also inefficient for a truly Mobile Postal Service.

Unless they ran on Water or LPG recycled from Human or organic waste as described in my blog article entitled “GENeco Bio-Bus runs on Bio-Methane - How 10% of UK's Heating from Human Organic Waste Alone makes Shit worthwhile”.

This as they'd spend most of their times in traffic idling and if in the rural and country areas, they'd have to be driving SUV's or Diesel Vans with 4WD to handle the rough terrain.

A better solution is to re-purpose those 60% of 551 Postal Offices and Agencies into Mini Drone Airports with the help of suitable Contractor as both Singapore and Rwanda have done as noted in the article my blog article entitled “Rwanda plans world's first Drone Airport - How the Land of 1000 hills will be connected by a Network of Drones”.

Then Postal Workers could be retrained as Drone Pilots and the Jamaica Postal Service can offer 1 day delivery service, for which it can charge a premium, gradually making the Postal Corporation of Jamaica profitable within five (5) years as argued in my Geezam blog article entitled “Skycam Jamaica Aerial Photography marks possible Revival of Package Delivery in the Jamaica Postal Service”.

The cost savings are not only considerable in terms of fuel, staff and facilities maintenance but it guarantees a positive spin for the Government of Jamaica, which has already had its eyes on Drones to be used in Agriculture to prevent poaching of Conch in our Territorial Waters as explained in my blog article entitled  “@agriministryja Poacher Spotting Drones – Ministry of National Security to Determine How Drones can Fly Farther”.

In so doing, Jamaica will also jumpstart our fledgling Drone Developement Industry as argued in my blog article entitled “JCAA Drones Regulations - Why GOJ Double-Standard suggest Commercial Drone Pilot Licenses are coming”.

With Singapore and Rwanda as Developing World inspiration for the use of Drones, a partnership between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining to Develope Drones for the Postal Corporation of Jamaica is the most cost-effective option that the Government of Jamaica can pursue.

Here's the link:



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