At the end of May, at the 2018 Global Smart Logistics Summit held in Hangzhou, a logistics drone of Suning Tesco, a large-scale e-commerce platform, received attention in the industry. The reporter, Xia Zhonghua, recently learned that the drone was jointly developed and manufactured by Ewatt Aerospace and Suning Logistics. Recently, the first pilot route for UAV logistics and transportation will be opened in Wuhan, China.
It is understood that as a strategic partner of Suning Logistics, Ewatt Aerospace has jointly developed two UAVs, a multi-rotor logistics drone for short-distance transportation and fixed-wing, vertical take-off and landing UAV for midway transportation. Compared with the general fixed-wing UAVs, this gas powered vertical take-off and landing fixed-wing UAV has a load of 8kg and can fly more than 100km. In addition, its flight can be controlled autonomously, enabling multi-rotor and fixed-wing mode switching and the aircraft security is much higher.
The logistics industry is accelerating technology empowerment. Since the beginning of this year, both Amazon, Wal-Mart and other companies, as well as domestic SF, Suning Tesco and others, are vigorously planning the development and commercialization of logistics drones.
The transportation and distribution of these unmanned aerial vehicles has become an important direction for improvement of the logistics industry. Last March, Amazon conducted the first public test flight of a drone. Suning Logistics plans to build unmanned logistics transportation around the supporting industries of UAVs and build 5,000 UAV smart logistics hubs across the entire country of China.
At the policy level, there are many positives. At the end of March, SF obtained the first domestic drone pilot license, marking the official entry of China’s drone logistics distribution into legal operation. On May 11th, the Civil Aviation Administration issued the “Guiding Opinions of the Civil Aviation Administration on Promoting the Development of Aviation Logistics “, clearly supporting logistics enterprises to use aircraft and drones to provide aviation logistics solutions. According to industry insiders, in the next five years, the market capacity of logistics UAVs will reach 100 billion yuan (or 15 billion dollars).
Yang Wei, head of Ewatt Aerospace’s UAV Business Logistics, said that the promotion of intelligent technology to logistics is an irreversible trend. While improving logistics efficiency, UAV distribution combined with big data, cloud services and hardware equipment applications, is a new system to explore.