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Unmanned Systems & Drones

Scheduled air service with drones

Neustadt an der Saale will be Germany's first city with regular drone routes.

15 Jun. 2018
Source: Nick Neufeld
Source: Nick Neufeld

Business is good at the Franconian car supplier Jopp, but the company has a problem: Jopp has two production sites, which are actually both located in the city Neustadt an der Saale - but, unfortunately, at opposite ends of the town. There's quite of lot of material that has to be brought back and forth between the two venues - internal mail, components and even the canteen food. This costs time and money. But those days are almost over: Neustadt an der Saale will be Germany's first city with regular drone routes.

This has been made possible by the developers at EmQopter from Würzburg. Their delivery drones will soon gain the first approval for regular urban flights for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in the country. The heart of the patent application is a distance sensor system for UAV's, that identifies landing sites efficiently and automatically. The unit has eight flight arms, weighs just nine kilos and is ready to fly in less than a minute. Current models are able to carry loads of up to two kilos.

Crowded skies

The drone boom continues. Based on current estimates, around 417,000 drones will pass over shop counters in Germany in 2018. This means the total number of units in Germany will grow to 1.26 million by the end of the year.

Drones will be sold in Germany until the end of 2018.