Zipline unveils new drones for precise, fast home delivery
By Na'ankwat Dariem
Zipline a Logistics startup company in South San Francisco, California has unveiled its next-generation aircraft that offers ultra-quiet, rapid and precise home delivery services in cities and suburbs.
The company’s next-generation home delivery platform which was launched virtually is practically silent and is expected to deliver up to 7 times as fast as traditional automobile delivery, completing 10-mile deliveries in about 10 minutes.
Chief Executive Officer of Zipline, Keller Cliffton said Zipline had spent the last several years building and fine-tuning its next-generation technology, Platform 2 (P2), to provide an optimal customer experience at scale.
He said Zipline’s drones fly more than 300 feet above the ground and are nearly inaudible, unlike other drone delivery services.
“Over the last decade, global demand for instant delivery has skyrocketed, but the technology we are using to deliver is 100 years old.
“We are still using the same 3,000-pound, gas combustion vehicles, driven by humans, to make billions of deliveries that usually weigh less than 5 pounds. It is slow, it’s expensive, and it’s terrible for the planet. Our new service is changing that and will finally make deliveries work for you and around your schedule.
“We have built the closest thing to teleportation ever created – a smooth, ultrafast, convenient, and truly magical autonomous logistics system that serves all people equally, wherever they are,” he said.
The CEO said Zipline arrives at its destination safely and quietly at an altitude, while its fully autonomous delivery droid manoeuvres down a tether.
Cliffton said that it steers to the correct location, and gently drops off its package to areas as small as a patio table or the front steps of a home.
He disclosed that Sweetgreen, the Government of Rwanda, Michigan Medicine and more would be a few of the first customers to deploy Zipline’s new platform.
According to Cliffton, partnering with Zipline is to further its mission of connecting people to real food in the U.S. while moving a step closer to its pledge to be carbon-neutral by 2027.
“By ordering through Zipline’s marketplace, Sweetgreen customers can get their orders using 97 per cent less energy than traditional automotive methods,” he said.
The Co-Founder and CEO of Sweetgreen, Jonathan Neman, said the future of delivery is faster, more sustainable and creates broader access, all of which provides improved value for our customers.
“We could not be more excited to work with Zipline to complement our delivery strategy. Zipline’s sustainable technology and ability to reach customers quickly, with a great delivery experience, will help us give our customers what they want, and when they want it” he said.
Payload and range
Each P2 Zip has a range of 10 miles – carrying up to 6-8 pounds – for each out-and-back trip from a single dock or 24 miles one way from the dock to dock before recharging again at each dock.
The docks have been designed with low upkeep in mind so businesses can easily load them up without leaving their kitchen or office premises
Zipline has received Part 135 certification, is authorized to complete the longest-range on-demand commercial drone flights in America and recently received FAA approval to enable its onboard autonomous detect and avoid system.
This year they plan on conducting tests involving 10k flights with 100 aircraft which will soon be followed by their first customer deployment of P2.