Mail could soon be delivered by drones


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02 January 2021
If you thought the idea of a robot delivering your mail was pure science fiction think again, Royal Mail are working with two providers of ‘unmanned aerial vehicles’ and recently conducted a drone delivery to a remote lighthouse on the Isle of Mull.

According to Royal Mail, the experiment in Scotland is the first step in a consultation programme and trial which will focus on engaging with the community to explore the viability of using drones to deliver to rural communities on the Isle of Mull.

The trials are intended to identify opportunities to support postmen and postwomen in delivering to very remote areas and addresses in the UK.

How drone deliveries would work

  • As with all Royal Mail UK deliveries, the postcode will route the parcel towards its destination.
  • The local postie will then use drone delivery to reach the most remote locations in their patch faster.
  • For the drone delivery, residents consulted on the Isle of Mull will be invited to use the ‘DronePrep’ platform to assess the viability of their property for drone delivery and pinpoint a suitable landing location using the ‘what3words’ app, which enables users to identify a 3 metre by 3 metre square location.

Isle of Mull postman Tom Nunn said:

‘I am very pleased to be involved in this fantastic trial. It is an exciting opportunity to test out new ways of working to support us posties that deliver in some of the most remote areas of the UK. Some of the houses on the Isle of Mull include a thirty-minute walk to the front door so the use of drones will be a huge help!’

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Nick Landon, Chief Commercial Officer at Royal Mail, said:

‘Delivering the first live parcel in the UK by an unmanned drone was a landmark day for us. We are incredibly proud to be working with DronePrep, Skyports and what3words to trial new ways to support the more remote and isolated communities we serve.

'This is part of our constant drive to incorporate the best innovative technologies into our network. We’ve seen a huge increase in parcel volumes this year and this is just one of the ways we are looking at to support our frontline delivery staff and deliver fast, convenient and green services for all of our customers.’