DODO and Rossmann in Hungary test drone delivery options
Prague, January 10, 2023: The technological-logistics company DODO, which provides last-mile delivery, has launched a pilot project in Hungary together with the Rossmann drugstore chain to deliver orders to households using drones. The first test flight in preparation for home delivery took off from a Rossmann store in the Savoya Park shopping centre in Budapest, Hungary. The route was chosen to allow the drone to cover a relatively long distance and diverse geographic terrain in preparation for a variety of future deliveries by air. The launch site and delivery destination were 15 kilometres apart, with the overall route extended by the drone’s crossing of the Danube River. The drone covered the required distance in 20 minutes.
In the first phase of the trial operation, DODO and Rossmann are testing how quickly orders can be delivered using drones while ensuring 100% safe conditions. A test flight was carried out for this very purpose, during which, among other things, the time required to place the package on the drone and to take off and land was evaluated. The aim of the pilot flight was primarily to measure the time required for the various stages of delivery, so no real parcels have been delivered during the pilot flight so far.
Safe delivery in minutes, regardless of road traffic
Particular attention was paid to creating safe conditions for aerial delivery, so the simulation of lifting the parcel into the air was key. The entire process, from the positioning and securing of the delivery box, the landing and take-off maneuver to the actual flight to the delivery site, took a total of 14 minutes, with the drone flying at an average speed of 50 kilometers per hour, at an altitude of between 20 and 50 meters. As the weight of the potential package to be delivered does not have a significant effect on the flight speed of the drone, the simulation results can be considered accurate in terms of flight parameters.
The use of drones at this time is subject to strict regulations at both national and EU level. Due to the nature of the activity of this pilot operation and the take-off weight, the project falls under a specific category of operation that requires appropriate regulatory approvals.
“For DODO, smart logistics and innovation go hand in hand. We are constantly looking for new ways to reduce delivery times and the environmental impact of logistics, so we want to be as prepared as possible for the moment when local legislation will allow drone delivery as well. Although some US companies already offer this service and are slowly expanding it in some parts of the US, local regulations do not yet allow such activities in the commercial sphere. We believe that by implementing similar pilot projects, we can contribute to the fact that this delivery method will one day become a common part of the delivery service offer in our country,” comments Peter Menky, DODO’s Chief Commercial Officer.
The tests will continue
DODO plans to continue its cooperation with Rossmann. As part of the development of drone delivery, the results of the first tests will be evaluated, and in the next phase of the pilot project, the two companies have the ambition to carry out another test flight during which the drone will deliver the parcel between the starting point and the destination.
“Rossmann is the most dynamically developing chain in the drugstore and perfumery sector in Hungary. It is extremely important for us to be able to keep up with our customers and we therefore want to stay ahead even when testing and setting new trends. We believe that drone delivery will be one of the key solutions of the future in e-commerce that can satisfy even the most demanding customers. We see DODO as a reliable partner that will help us offer this delivery method to our customers as soon as possible,” adds Ádám Fürjes, Marketing Manager of Rossmann Hungary Ltd.
DODO has always strived for sustainability by reducing the ecological footprint of its deliveries, and the introduction of drone delivery would be a significant step forward in this area. In this way, it will be possible to avoid traffic jams and other factors that increase the environmental impact of deliveries and the quality of life in cities. In addition to Hungary, the lessons learned could also be applied in the future in other countries where DODO operates, including the Czech Republic.
Hungary was chosen by DODO for its pilot operation because no similar test has been carried out there before. Moreover, it is an important market for the company, where it has been successful in the long term. In the last year alone, the volume of orders here has increased by 150%. In addition to the Rossmann drugstore chain, couriers in 35 Hungarian cities also provide logistics for Hervis and the Benu pharmacy chain. The drone pilot test is not the first trial operation DODO has had in Hungary – in the past, for example, the company has delivered food to sailors on Lake Balaton emission-free using electric jet skis.