While the drone sector is evolving, some new initiatives are appearing in order to offer services related to delivery in cities through UAVs. At the same time, new features about Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) systems are being known and established, which are necessary to manage the said operations in the urban airspace.

Some initiatives for delivery in cities are, for instance, the possibility of combining delivery trucks with UAVs, since their integration would greatly improve their efficiency. The use of UAVs notably reduces costs and delivery time, while trucks permit to have a moving station for drones to takeoff and land, as well as they already have facilities optimized and ready to use.

On the other hand, there are other solutions in an advanced stage of development performed by companies such as Airbus and its Skyways project, for delivery in cities. Compared to the previous initiative, this project would provide to UAVs the necessary infrastructure to not depend of delivery trucks as moving station. This project uses octocopters of high flight-endurance that would deliver parcels through “aerial corridors” predefined, which would optimize the delivery time.

Delivery in cities and UTM systems - Airbus Skyways

The need of UTM systems for delivery in cities

When delivery in cities is considered, it is always linked to demonstrate the reliability and efficiency of security and control systems that sustain them, as well as the electronic components used. It is here where UTM systems capacity take a key role.

These UTM systems to manage the airspace permit a reliable control of UAVs, bidirectional communication between the UTM system itself and UAVs, capacity of design and redesign of the airspace in real-time by the air traffic control and immediate access to information on live to flights plans and climatology, among others. These features would permit that in the initiatives previously described, all the manned and unmanned aircrafts could know the airspace reserved for the “aerial corridors” of the Skyryse project, or the route of moving stations formed by delivery trucks and their UAVs.

It is remarkable that Veronte Autopilot is a key avionic system for any UTM system, in order to allow unmanned delivery in cities. It is made of rugged connectors and redundant sensors, including 4G communication modules for command and control UAVS from anywhere in the world. Embention will assist as speaker to ICAO’s Drone Enable during September 22 and 23 at ICAO headquarters in Montreal, Canada. ICAO’s Drone Enable is the first worldwide symposium where the last developments of unmanned traffic management (UTM) systems will be shown.