JD.com has completed the maiden flight of its new self-developed delivery drone in Sichuan province, as the Chinese e-commerce giant seeks to commercialize its unmanned aerial logistics services.
The logistics drone, codenamed the JDY-500, is designed to transport up to a few hundred kilograms of goods per flight with an ability to airdrop supplies in case of an emergency, JD.com said in a statement on Thursday.
It added the JDY-500 is China’s first autogyro logistics drone, which can take off and land on shorter runways. The drone can fly for as long as a few hundred kilometers, allowing it to transport goods between regional warehouses.
The JDY-500 is not the first unmanned aerial vehicle JD.com has developed for heavy-lift logistics. In 2018, the company launched its first-generation logistics drone, codenamed the JDY-800, which can carry up to 840 kilograms of cargo.
The JDY-500’s first flight comes as several e-commerce and delivery companies in China ramp up efforts to widen their use of robot-powered logistics services in an effort to enhance efficiency and reduce costs.
Earlier this year, Chinese lifestyle service and food delivery giant Meituan deployed a fleet of autonomous vehicles to deliver grocery orders to customers in Beijing during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Contact reporter Ding Yi ([email protected])
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