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A vision has become reality
Swiss Post is at the forefront of drone development and deployment for logistics. It transports special healthcare consignments in cooperation with a range of partners in various regions of Switzerland.
Together with the drone manufacturer Matternet and partners from the healthcare sector, Swiss Post is using drones to transport laboratory samples. At present, samples are transported by road. But thanks to the use of drones, transporting these samples should become more flexible, more eco-friendly and less dependent on the traffic situation. A car journey lasting 45 minutes becomes a flight of just a few minutes in the uncongested airspace, which means true added value for our customers and by extension their patients. This is because healthcare consignments in particular are often urgent and the speed at which they are delivered can be crucial.
Using new digital solutions, Swiss Post is expanding its core business – transporting goods, information and people – to include new business areas.
Swiss Post is a pioneer in Switzerland for autonomous and commercial drones. Drones can be deployed in many ways in logistics – above all in the last mile to transport high-priority consignments, such as lab samples, or to deliver supplies to places cut off from the outside world after a storm.
However, as 130 million parcels are sent per year, the nationwide use of drones would not be expedient. This means that drones will complement traditional parcel delivery where required in the future, but they will not replace it.
Taking to the air to serve the healthcare sector. Find out where the small white drones have been deployed so far.
Insel Gruppe, Berne
For two weeks in June, Swiss Post will use drones to transport laboratory samples between Tiefenau hospital and the central laboratory at the University Hospital of Berne on behalf of Insel Gruppe.
Insel Gruppe and Swiss Post will then evaluate the flights in Berne. The findings will inform the decision whether to use drones for day-to-day transportation of lab samples in the future.
Zurich will be the next city after Berne to set up a transport route. The drone will connect the main laboratory, Zentrallabor Zürich (ZLZ), on Forchstrasse with the ZLZ emergency laboratory at the Hirslanden Klinik Im Park.
Once complete, ZLZ and Swiss Post will evaluate the flights in Zurich. The findings will inform the decision whether to use drones for day-to-day transportation of lab samples in the future.
The Swiss premiere: this was the first hospital in Switzerland to test a drone link between two locations. Since the start of the project, more than 1,000 flights have taken place between the EOC hospital group’s two hospitals, the “Ospedale Italiano” and the “Ospedale Civico”. Today, the drone is in daily use in Lugano. The fully autonomous drones are due to start running a regular service in the fourth quarter for the first time in Lugano.