DHL Launches Niche Drone Deliveries to a Pocket of German Islanders

By Gary Cutlack on at

Courier firm DHL has beaten the likes of Google and Amazon in launching an automated drone delivery system of a sort, but there's quite a sizeable disclaimer. It's only for inhabitants of one small island at the moment. And a man does the difficult finding-the-right-letterbox part at the end.

The DHL parcelcopter has been licensed for research use on the North Sea island of Juist, where locals on the 10-mile-long spot will be able to take delivery of "urgently needed goods" via UAV. There will be no drones dropping shopping off in gardens, though, as it'll only be providing a link to the mainland that will operate when ferries are closed -- and it'll only make drop-offs in a specially reserved field on the island.

Then your more traditional man/van combo will pick up the package and cover the critical last miles of the route to make sure it gets to the right house. So it's more of a halfway house cyborg service than a full robot delivery option at this stage. [DHL via Engadget]