German consumer electronics company Media Markt has announced it will be testing deliveries via drone in an attempt to speed up distribution to customers.
The company is trialling vacuum-cleaner-sized robots to make deliveries within a 5-kilometre radius from a store in the city of Dusseldorf, although at the moment they’re not fully automated and have a human minder to ensure they strict to Germany’s strict automated vehicle regulations.
Media Markt’s drones are only allowed to operate during daylight hours, must move no faster than human walking pace, must use the pavement and should give way to oncoming pedestrians.
The drones will form part of Media Markt’s Express delivery service, which aims to make deliveries within three hours of an order coming in. It costs €14.95, which presumably covers the cost of the company’s investment in the robots. The goods must weigh less than 10kg and be relatively small to fit in the robot’s belly, so TVs and white goods are excluded from the service.
While Media Markt is testing the technology, it is requesting that customers are at the delivery address when delivery is expected so they can open the top of the robot to remove their order with a PIN code sent to their mobile upon arrival.
The service is similar to Just Eat UK‘s plan – provide a tip top local delivery service to boost customer satisfaction and although the drones used to deliver goods are pretty similar, they will need very different specification to be suited to the types of things they will be transporting.