Zipline unveils new autonomous ‘home delivery’ platform
Zipline has unveiled its new platform that provides autonomous delivery directly to homes in cities and suburbs.
The company’s home delivery platform is designed to be no louder than wind rustling leaves, and is expected to deliver up to seven times as fast as traditional automobile delivery, completing 10-mile deliveries in about 10 minutes.
Zipline has spent the last several years building and fine tuning this new technology it calls, Platform 2 (P2). Zipline’s drones fly more than 300ft above the ground and are nearly inaudible. When the drone arrives, it hovers at that altitude, while the autonomous delivery droid manoeuvres down a tether, steers to the correct location, and drops off its package to areas as small as a patio table or the front steps of a home.
Keller Rinaudo Cliffton, co-founder and CEO of Zipline, said: “Over the last decade, global demand for instant delivery has skyrocketed, but the technology we’re using to deliver is 100 years old. We’re still using the same 3,000-pound, gas combustion vehicles, driven by humans, to make billions of deliveries that usually weigh less than 5 pounds. It’s slow, it’s expensive, and it’s terrible for the planet.”
Several businesses have signed on to use Zipline’s new home delivery service, such as Sweetgreen. By ordering through Zipline’s marketplace, Sweetgreen customers can get their food orders using 97% less energy than traditional automotive methods, according to Zipline.
Jonathan Neman, co-founder and CEO of Sweetgreen, said: “We couldn’t be more excited to work with Zipline to complement our delivery strategy. Zipline’s sustainable technology and ability to reach customers quickly, with a great delivery experience, will help us give our customers what they want, when they want it.”
Each P2 Zip has a 10-mile service radius while carrying a six to eight pound payload for out-and-back deliveries from a single dock. Alternatively, it can also fly up to 24 miles one way from dock to dock, charging at each dock before picking up its next delivery.
Zipline plans to conduct high-volume flight tests this year involving more than 10,000 flights using about 100 aircraft. The firm completed more deliveries in 2022 than in all previous years combined, and is planning to complete about 1million deliveries by the end of 2023. By 2025, Zipline expects to operate more flights annually than most airlines.