Zipline introduces new system capable of fast and precise home delivery

Economics Zipline Platform
Economics Zipline Platform

Zipline has unveiled its new platform that provides quiet, fast and precise autonomous delivery directly to homes in cities and suburbs.

The company’s next generation home delivery platform is practically silent (designed to sound like wind rustling leaves), and is expected to deliver up to 7 times as fast as traditional automobile delivery, completing 10-mile deliveries in about 10 minutes.

A statement issued in Accra said Zipline had spent the last several years building and fine tuning its next generation technology, Platform 2 (P2), to provide an optimal customer experience at scale.

It said unlike other drone delivery services, Zipline’s drones (Zips) fly more than 300 feet above the ground and nearly inaudible.

The statement said when the Zip arrived at its destination, it would hover safely and quietly at that altitude, while its fully autonomous delivery droid maneuvers down a tether, steers to the correct location, and gently drops off its package to areas as small as a patio table or the front steps of a home.

“This is all made possible through major innovations in aircraft and propeller design,” it added.

The statement said several businesses across the healthcare and restaurant sectors had already signed on to use Zipline’s new home delivery service.

It said Sweetgreen was partnering with Zipline to further its mission of connecting people to real food in the U.S., while moving a step closer to its pledge to be carbon-neutral by 2027.

“By ordering through Zipline’s marketplace, Sweetgreen customers can get their orders using 97 per cent less energy than traditional automotive methods,” it said.

Mr Jonathan Neman, Co-Founder and CEO of Sweetgreen said, “The future of delivery is faster, more sustainable and creates broader access, all of which provides improved value for our customers.”

He said they could not be more excited to work with Zipline to complement their delivery strategy.

“Zipline’s sustainable technology and ability to reach customers quickly, with a great delivery experience, will help us give our customers what they want, when they want it,” he said.

It said Michigan Medicine would use Zipline’s new service to more than double the number of prescriptions it fills each year through its in-house pharmacy.

The statement said intermountain Health would use it to deliver prescriptions to patients’ homes in the Salt Lake City metro area.

Meanwhile, MultiCare Health System planned to use the new platform to expedite diagnostics and deliver prescriptions and medical devices throughout MultiCare’s network of facilities, including hospitals, laboratories and doctors’ offices.

It said Zipline’s first customer, the Government of Rwanda, would use the company’s new home delivery service to enable urban aerial last-mile delivery to homes, hotels and health facilities in Kigali and elsewhere in the country.

Zipline’s end-to-end solution seamlessly integrates with a business’s current operations.

This includes its dual-use docking and charging hardware, software that easily works with third-party inventory management and ordering systems, an intuitive app that allows order tracking down to the second, and an autonomy system that has already guided the flight paths of 40 million commercial miles.

Zipline designed its docking and charging hardware to have a light footprint that can be attached to any building or set up as a freestanding structure.

Mr Keller Rinaudo Cliffton, co-founder and CEO of Zipline, said, “Over the last decade, global demand for instant delivery has skyrocketed, but the technology we are using to deliver is 100 years old.”

He said they were still using the same 3,000-pound, gas combustion vehicles, driven by humans, to make billions of deliveries that usually weigh less than five pounds and it was slow, expensive, and terrible for the planet.

“Our new service is changing that and will finally make deliveries work for you and around your schedule. We have built the closest thing to teleportation ever created – a smooth, ultrafast, convenient, and truly magical autonomous logistics system that serves all people equally, wherever they are,” he added.

He said Zipline planned to conduct high-volume flight tests this year involving more than 10,000 test flights using about 100 aircraft.

Mr Cliffton said Zipline’s record for safety had been proven over the past seven years of operations and over more than 500,000 commercial flights.

He said its long-range platform, P1, has autonomously flown 40 million miles worth of commercial deliveries through all kinds of weather without a safety incident – the vast majority of which were flights flown beyond visual line of sight.

The Co-founder said Zipline had received Part 135 certification and was authorized to complete the longest-range, on-demand commercial drone flights in America, and recently received FAA approval to enable its onboard autonomous detect and avoid system.

Zipline completed more deliveries in 2022 than in all previous years combined, and is planning to complete about 1 million deliveries by the end of 2023.

By 2025, Zipline expects to operate more flights annually than most airlines.

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