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DHL Parcelcopter Wins German Mobility Prize

The German Mobility Prize (“Deutscher Mobilitätspreis”) was conferred upon the DHL Parcelcopter research project as it was recognized as one of the ten most outstanding digital innovations for intelligent mobility by the “Deutschland – Land der Ideen” (Germany – land of ideas) initiative and the Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

Headed by Dorothee Bär, Member of the German Bundestag and Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure, the 16-strong jury of experts whittled down the 350 competing submissions to a select group of ten prize-winning projects. Together with Ute E. Weiland, Director of the “Deutschland – Land der Ideen” initiative, she presented the project leads of the ten award-winning submissions with their prizes at the Federal Ministry for Transport in Berlin yesterday evening.

DHL Parcel’s research project is the only one of its kind to date to focus on the use of transport drones in parcel logistics – and it succeeded in winning over the jury, not least thanks to the fact that, this year, DHL became the first parcel service provider in the world to make use of a parcelcopter for end-customer access.

This first was made possible by the systematic further development of the airborne device and its integration into existing logistics processes. Following the 2013 maiden flight of the first DHL Parcelcopter in Bonn, the copter was then deployed between the mainland and the North Sea island of Juist last year. And this spring, the latest, technologically significantly improved next-generation parcelcopter flew from the Bavarian ski resort of Reit im Winkl to the Winklmoosalm mountain plateau. Here, the parcelcopter flight became an integrated component of the DHL Parcel delivery chain as it ensured the fully automated loading and unloading of parcels at the “Skyport” station, which, with the help of current DHL Packstation technology, had been specifically designed and developed as this year’s component of the research project.

In its capacity as innovation leader in parcel logistics, DHL Parcel is constantly developing new offers to cater to extremely diverse customer requirements – from Packstations to car drop delivery, and our now prize-winning parcelcopter project. Following the analysis of the data from this year’s test operations, DHL’s new generation parcelcopter has succeeded in realizing all the technical and process-based improvements required to carry out a field test in an urban area.

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