During the trial, operators will test areas suitable for vehicle circulation, map potential navigation and the anti-collision algorithm, Source: Comune di Milano

Milan ready to test the first automated drone delivery system in Italy

Milan ready to test the first automated drone delivery system in Italy

The fully electric drone called Yape has the potential to fix many of the problems with last-mile deliveries

Yesterday, authorities in Milan announced that the first trial period of the Yape delivery drone is about to start. During siad trial, the team behind the on-land delivery drone will set out to find the best routes for Yape through the city, as the drone is supposed to navigate the hectic streets of Milan autonomously.

At the end of the first phase of testing, the company will let the drones loose and citizens will be able to experience their full benefits.

The first last-mile delivery system in Italy

According to a statement by Milan authorities, Yape will be the first last-mile autonomous delivery system operating in Italy. The project has been developed via the programme Experimentation Italia (Sperimentazione Italia).

The programme is supposed to create links between start-ups, universities and research centres, ultimately boosting innovation through networking. The drone itself was developed by e-Novia, an Italian company working on innovations in the mobility sector.

One of the most important things for Yape is the fact that it is supposed to be able to do deliveries both indoors and outdoors. Equipped with a balancing wheel, the drone is able to carry up to 10 kilograms for 80 kilometres.

During the first stage of trials, the company aims to trial the effectiveness of their fleet of drones in the urban environment. This includes identifying areas suitable for vehicle circulation, map potential navigation and testing its anti-collision algorithm.

Although the system is able to run at great speeds, during the trial phase, the drones’ speed will be limited to 6 kilometres per hour.

Solving the issue of last-mile deliveries

When it comes to vehicle emissions, one of the biggest culprits in cities is so-called last-mile deliveries. This means vehicles that move goods from a central distribution point to people’s homes.

Many cities, in turn, have tried to implement measures to shift this particular type of transport to more sustainable means. One of the most promising solutions up to now is the widespread adoption of cargo bikes, while Leuven in Belgium introduced mobility hubs with lockers.

The idea here is to shorten door-to-door deliveries in terms of miles travelled and to offer people central hubs where they can get a ride-share vehicle and pick up their deliveries.

Milan, however, is going on a different route and instead of raw peddling power with e-bikes, Yape will implement a fully electric and automated system, that is supposed to eliminate human involvement in last-mile shipments altogether.

According to the company, the drone would be able to meet the demands of people living in the city centre and ease traffic, while also offering persons with disabilities an easy way to connect with the world. Furthermore, authorities claim that if the trials are deemed successful, the system could be extended to the rest of Italy.



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