The Finnish postal service begins tests using a drone for transporting parcels, saying such a service could become a reality within a few years. Jim Drury reports.
It's the latest attempt to create a viable drone delivery service. Finnish postal service Posti launched a four day test to transport parcels between capital Helsinki and Suomenlinna, an island fortress five kilometres away. Parcels weighing up to three kilograms were dispatched. The first delivery went off without a glitch, although it arrived some distance from the landing zone. Posti says it's the first company in Europe to try mail delivery in an urban area. SOUNDBITE (English) JUKKA ROSENBERG, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, PARCEL AND LOGISTIC SERVICES AT POSTI, SAYING: "I would estimate or guess that maybe it could take some two or three years that we have it in place. It of course requires regulations." The company responsible for the drone's operation say the sky really is the limit for unmanned aerial vehicles. SOUNDBITE (English) TERO HEINONEN, CEO OF SHARPER SHAPE, SAYING: "It seems that drones are one of the new technology areas which really ignite people's imagination...I expect that while the technology further matures we will see many companies doing different kind of applications starting from precision agriculture, forestry inventory, the deliveries of course, power-line inspections, counting traffic." Amazon is among those companies testing its own drone delivery service, but many obstacles remain, namely weight and distance limits, and the unpredictability of weather.