After five years of pioneering work, Swiss Post has decided to abandon it drone project. The experimental autonomous drones have attracted much global interest since their launch in 2017. However, given the current regulatory environment for unmanned aerial vehicles in Switzerland the company said it is unable to use the drones widely enough or operate them at a profit.
The drone operation will be handed over to Matternet, a Californian drone systems developer, said Swiss Post. The transfer will occur on 1 January 2023. Matternet partnered with Swiss Post for the project and manufactures the drones used.
In March 2017, Swiss Post became one of the first companies to use drones to transport lab samples between hospitals and laboratories. The service attracted great interest from the healthcare sector.
However, the drone service not profitable and its usage is too narrow even in the medium term, said the company. The result of the five-year operation showed that Swiss Post is not able to use the drones widely enough or make a profit while using current technology and keeping to the regulations that are in force.
Existing customers − the University Hospital Zurich, the University of Zurich and the Ticino EOC hospital group − will have the option of continuing to purchase the drone transport service from Matternet, said Swiss Post.
Swiss Post press release (in English)