World’s First Cargo Drone Logistics Facility To Be Established

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The world’s first cargo drone logistics facility will be built in Japan. The new drone port will be part of ESR Cayman’s new 365,000-square-meter, nine-story distribution center, which is slated for completion in 2023. A starter fleet of at least 24 drones is slated to deliver as much as 14,000 tons of cargo daily to distribution nodes across the region.

Japan has been chosen for this mission due to its regulatory environment, commitment to UAV cargo delivery and maturing 5G infrastructure.

The project is expected to demonstrate how autonomous electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle systems (eVTOL) can revolutionize commercial cargo transport by quickly moving high-value, time-sensitive cargo directly from futuristic distribution facilities to their final destination. 

With advances in battery capacity extending eVTOL range, ESR believes it can be one of the first companies to make multiple drone deliveries in a single trip.

This capability will draw on Japan’s 2018 decision to encourage advancement of drone deliveries by scrapping the country’s BVLOS permit requirements and begin to allow BVLOS flights below 150 meters for drones with established safety records.

Partnering with ESR is VRCO, developing a luxury eVTOL quadcopter made of lightweight composites enhanced with graphene nanomaterials and equipped with Quanergy’s S3 solid state LiDAR sensor.

A test phase will examine how the drones will interact with cargo and recharge their batteries, and how a central command center can manage traffic during varied weather conditions and delivery demand. 

Non-technical challenges such as coordinating with local regulators and establishing emergency and safety procedures will be addressed too.

If successful, ESR will replicate the system throughout its facilities in Asia, according to