A French postal service is now delivering parcels by drone to remote villages in the Alps mountains. During winters as it gets harder for people to deliver packages, DPD, a subsidiary of La Poste, states that delivering packages by drone is more reliable, quicker, and safer.

DPD, a French Postal service uses drones for delivery.
The French Postal Service, DPD, is using drones to deliver parcels.

“We’re heading for the winter period and in the Alps, there are regular snowfalls that can stop traditional deliveries to mont-Saint-Martin,” DPD director, Jean-Luc DeFrance told Le Parisien.

A round trip for parcel delivery with a postal van it takes about 30 minutes, whereas, it roughly takes about 8 minutes by drone. A special launch and landing platform were the key features for a drone to be launched. Later, the unmanned aircraft is then flown to a secure terminal near the village where it releases the package. The last step will be when the customer collects the package by using a code at a later point in time. All packages need to be less than 4.4 pounds and can be no larger than 12.2 inches by 6 inches by 4 inches.

Postal delivery made easy

It was in 2014 when the French Postal Service subsidiary had started testing its six-rotor delivery drones and has been advancing the technology ever since. Recently, the French civil aviation authority granted permission to La Poste to start using drones to make deliveries. The unmanned aircraft includes six electric motors that can be charged using solar panels and they have a built-in GPS system. The Isère region of southeast France experienced the first drone delivery. There is a number of built-in safety features in drones that are used for delivering parcels. The safety features include an autonomous parachute system, an anti-collision system, as well as a camera and flight recorder in case anything goes wrong.

french postal service dpd launching a drone
DPD launching a cargo drone for delivery.

“There are many benefits to drone delivery in the mountains as compared to delivery by van. For the driver, in addition to the time saving, there is reduced risk on roads that are dangerous and sometimes blocked especially in the winter,” according to a spokesperson for the French Postal Service. The person continued to say that: “For the customer, it guarantees that they will receive their parcel even if the roads is impassable. Finally, as the drone is electric powered, it does not emit any CO2 in do this protected natural environment.”