Chinese firm hitches ride on drones to deliver packages

Shenzhen-based courier company, SF Express, begins trials in Guangdong using drones each outfitted with eight propellers and able to fly up to 100 meters to deliver packages.

Shenzhen-based courier company, SF Express, has begun trials that use drones to deliver packages in the hope that these may prove viable to reach remote areas. 

Drones are equipped with navigation systems and can fly up to 100 metres. (Source: Sina Weibo)

The Chinese delivery company commenced tests in Dongguang city, located in the Guangdong province, with drones each outfitted with eight propellers and able to fly up to 100 meters, reported Chinese news portal on Tuesday. 

Pictures of the drone were captured and posted online by a Sina Weibo user.

Citing spokespersons from SF Express who shared details with Chinese media, the report said the drones were developed to potentially deliver packages over long distances and to remote areas. Each machine features an built-in navigation system which requires the address and flight path to be input to start a delivery, and can be monitored by staff who will be able to correct the drone's position within two meters of its target.

A Shanghai bakery in July also launched an air delivery system for its cakes, but a government official told the Shanghai Daily then that companies looking to use drones must first gain approval from local aviation authorities.

SF Express said the company had complied with local aviation regulations. It did not provide a timeline on when the trials will be completed.  

Domino's Pizza in the United Kingdom also trialed the use of drone helicopter touted to be able to deliver pies over a four-mile radius within 10 minutes. Featured in a video released June this year, the flying chopper was controlled by an experienced drone pilot who used several cameras to help guide the flight.