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AIRCARRUS - Autonomous Drone Delivery System

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - AIRCARRUS (AIRCARRUS - Autonomous Drone Delivery System)

Reporting period: 2019-05-01 to 2019-10-31

AIRCARRUS project aims to provide a courier delivery service of goods, payloads, and medical lifesaving supplies utilizing a fully autonomous artificially intelligent aerial delivery system using drones/RPAS. The AIRCARRUS project solves the transportation challenges of purveying goods and emergency services to regions of limited urban infrastructure, ocean vessels, high traffic urban areas, and the delivery of time sensitive lifesaving goods. There is real need and open tenders for a delivery system like the AIRCARRUS from clients such as ocean vessel operators, to developing nations that are lacking roads or are geographically challenged. The use of the AIRCARRUS system in the future is also suitable for developed urban areas that have high traffic congestion and require new transportation systems. The engineering solution approach for the AIRCARRUS is completely disruptive since it focuses on a fully autonomous ground to air system that requires little or no operator interactions using a smart ground station. Full autonomous operations will drive higher delivery volumes while lowering the costs per delivery making the solution more and more attractive to new users.
Currently, the EU Commission is tackling the challenges of aviation regulations and establishing standards for air traffic management systems for drones with the SEASAR U-SPACE program. U-Space is an air traffic control system that will enable the AIRCARRUS delivery drones to operate in the EU urban skies in the very near future.
During the Phase I feasibility study, AERDRON researched the business potential of this project in more detail and was able to create in depth business plan based on feedback from key industry partners, conservative market assumptions, trends, forecasts, and statistics. The business plan shows a high ROI investment is possible with a well-managed growth strategy, strategic partners and clients, and additional capital investment. AERDRON also, studied the technical upgrades needed, and defined the product and regulatory requirements to upgrade our existing HL4 Herculift drone to operate in a marine environment. The technical challenges were determined to be manageable from a technical risk standpoint, and considering the current state of the art is well aligned with the design intent of the next generation vehicle.

The AIRCARRUS project has a high potential for success and impact given the marine transport industry is already requesting a robust, reliable, and cost effective solution to deliver small packages and documents quickly from the docks or nearby logistics centers. The project initially focused on first starting with smaller sea vessels like yachts, but during the feasibility study the market opportunity for transporting small packages to transport and tanker ships also became more attractive and apparent. During the phase I feasibility study it was confirmed again that no systems of this type currently are servicing the market niche.
Currently, the EU Commission is tackling the challenges of aviation regulations and air traffic management system for drones with the SEASAR U-SPACE program. U-Space is an air traffic control system that will enable the Aircarrus delivery drones to operate in the EU urban skies in the very near future. The Aircarrus project is a key technology enabler to exploit new disruptive courier market niches from small to large companies and provide emergency courier services to remote communities or sea vessels. In the short term, AERDRON plans to launch, market, and target ocean vessel customers operating near seaports for delivery services. In the long term, AERDRON foresees the Aircarrus technologies being integrated into large logistic centres to provide quick final kilometre zero emission delivery services. This unique market niche has yet to be exploited on an autonomous level at large scales of economy where volume drives pricing to attractive levels. The general public has already proved a willingness to pay extra for rapid delivery services like Amazon Prime and other online delivery applications. The AIRCARRUS project is well aligned with EU Commission initiatives to sovle the challenges of smart transportation systems that reduce ground transportation traffic and carbon emissions.
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