Logistics company Aramex has tested its drone and roadside bot deliveries in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
This trial forms part of the company’s Future Delivery Program, aimed at improving last-mile logistics using smart shipping solutions to enable quicker, more sustainable and cost-effective deliveries. The initial tests were conducted at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in New York in partnership with commercial drone delivery service provider Barq EV and delivery robotic specialist Kiwibot. The tests were performed with the support of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, Dubai Future Foundation and Dubai Smart City.
Aramex used Barq EV’s drone delivery technology which is capable of operating multiple and continuous flights at long-range distances and in different environments. The drones are equipped with multidirectional sensors and a fleet management system. This system has been designed to ensure accuracy across order placements, dispatch management, drone flight routing and deliveries. Kiwibot’s self-driving ground delivery vehicles were also used, which have a combination of high-tech sensors, cameras, radars and artificial intelligence (AI) to navigate through surroundings and obstacles. Kiwibot also uses an advanced GPS navigation system to generate virtual maps, establish multiple routes and change course depending on delays or obstacles.
Alaa Saoudi, chief operating officer of Aramex Express, said, “The expansion of our Future Delivery Program in the UAE is a testament to our drive to be at the forefront of last-mile delivery logistics and generate more value for our customers by providing a faster, safer and greener way of delivering packages. Importantly, it also enables Aramex to further contribute to UAE’s sustainability ambitions as we embark on our mission to transition our fleet to emission-free vehicles and achieve our climate pledge to reach carbon neutrality by 2030. We are excited about the next chapter of the program and further scaling this service to reach more customers.”
Ahmed Al Mazroui, CEO of Barq EV, said, “As one of the first commercial drone operating companies in the UAE offering drone delivery services, BARQ EV is pleased to partner with Aramex and provide them with all test flight scenarios in the United Arab Emirates. We believe this collaboration with Aramex will be the great first step to scale up the drone delivery service in the logistics industry in the UAE.”
Felipe Chávez Cortés, CEO and co-founder of Kiwibot, added, “This partnership between Aramex and Kiwibot revealed a shared vision to shape greener cities. We are committed to a zero-carbon future, seeking to enhance sustainability in the last-mile delivery and shipping industry. This pilot showed that Kiwibot is more than a delivery service, it’s also efficient operations, an extraordinary experience and harmonious mobility.”
Dr Yousef Al-Assaf, president of RIT Dubai, concluded, “As RIT Dubai is building centers of energy and sustainability, smart cities and innovation and entrepreneurship, our partnership with Aramex aligns to achieve the vision of these centers. This partnership gives students and faculty the opportunity to integrate with leading organizations, and be well prepared for the future, which will hopefully help in creating new businesses that will diversify the economy and sustain the environment.”
This initiative follows Aramex’s test of autonomous drone delivery in Muscat, Oman. Aramex has reported that it plans to expand its drone and robot delivery testing across the Middle East and Africa region, as well as other core markets where it operates.