French postal service starts drone delivery in the Alps

French postal service starts drone delivery in the Alps
Photo: AFP
The French postal service is now delivering parcels by drone to remote villages in the Alps mountains.

La Poste has begun offering a drone services to deliver packages to the more remote villages in the French Alps region.

The postal operator says that it means they will be able to keep up a regular service even in winter, when heavy snowfall often makes access to villages in the mountains more difficult.

Operated by DPD on behald of La Poste, the service starts in the small village Fontanil-Cornillon in the Isère département, where the DPD operator parks his truck and flies the drone containing the parcels up the mountain to the small village of Mont-Saint-Martin, 760m above sea level.

The package is then deposited in a secure terminal and the recipient gets a code to go and collect it.

In bad news for anyone who has ordered anything the heavy – the drone can only manage parcels that do not exceed a weight of 2 kg and a dimension of 31cm in length by 15cm in width and 10cm in height.

The drone flies at around 30km/h and can complete the round trip in around 8 minutes, saving time as well as traffic congestion on the narrow mountain roads.

“In the Alps, snow falls regularly in these mountain areas and can prevent a traditional delivery person from climbing to Mont-Saint-Martin. Thanks to the drone, we will still be able to transport the packages to the village,” Jean-Luc Defrance, director of drones and autonomous vehicles at DPD Groupe, told Le Parisien.
The Swiss postal services is already using drones in mountain areas and in France is has also been tested in the Var département.


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