Swiss Post Halts Drone Delivery Service After Two Separate Crashes
Swiss Post and Matternet have been collaborating on a drone delivery service in three different Swiss cities for well over a year. The purpose of the partnership was to develop a faster and more efficient way to deliver laboratory samples between hospitals. With over 3,000 successful flights, the companies saw great promise.
On January 25th, everything changed after an incident involving a drone crash into Lake Zurich was reported. According to Swiss Post via FAZ, the crash was the result of a short circuit in the GPS power circuit. The drone lost the location and performed a controlled emergency landing. A temporary suspension put things on hold until April.
Swiss Post halts drone delivery service indefinitely after a second crash was reported in Zurich in early May. Details about the crash were published by the Swiss Safety Investigation Board (Sust) in the interim report.
According to the report, the Matternet M2V9 drone, which weighs more than 10 kilograms, crashed into a wooded area of Zurich’s university quarter, only 50 yards away from a group of children. There is an ongoing investigation for the reason behind why the drone automatically triggered the flight cancellation system two minutes into the flight.
This is a major setback for both Swiss Post and Matternet.
Swiss Post is not taking this crash as an opportunity to get out of drone logistics and has since decided to establish a board of experts on safety.
“We are fundamentally convinced that our customers are still interested in transport services with drones,” said a spokeswoman to FAZ.
Matternet responded immediately. The company reinforced the parachute ropes with a metal mesh and reduced the drone’s maximum speed to 17 meters per second. The parachute is now attached to the drone with two ropes instead of one. In the event a crash should occur, a loud alarm will also sound, warning people in the vicinity in case of a crash.
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