Japan Post unveils drones for deliveries

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A drone developed by Japan Post and ACSL that was unveiled in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on Tuesday

Japan Post Co. has unveiled a new model of drone to be used for deliveries that it aims to put into service starting next fiscal year.

Japan Post and ASCL Ltd., a Tokyo based company that manufactures and sells drones, announced Tuesday that they have jointly developed the new type of delivery drone.

They aim to have the drones out dropping off mail in 2023 or later, following the lifting of a ban on Level 4 drones as part of the revised Civil Aeronautics Law. In Level 4 flights, operators are allowed to fly drones outside the range of sight over populated locales such as residential areas.

The 1.7-meter-long and about 20-kilogram drones are capable of carrying loads of up to five kilograms in weight. The flight range is expected to be about 35 kilometers, or about 250% farther than the current ACSL model’s range.

Japan Post and ASCL intend to use the drones for deliveries in mountainous areas after obtaining government certification for the vehicles and conducting demonstration tests.