UK to plan world’s biggest automated drone superhighway connecting cities and towns for mail package delivery
The UK is setting up the world’s biggest automated drone superhighway within two years, which will be used on a 164-mile Skyway project that will connect towns and cities.
The project, according to BBC, is part of a £273 million funding package for the aerospace sector.
Drone mail delivery to the Isles of Scilly and across Scotland is also part of other projects being planned, which will include delivering medicines to patients in remote regions.
The chief operating officer of the aviation technology company Altitude Angel, Chris Forster, said that the drone superhighway will not only be used for business logistics but will also help “police and medical deliveries of vaccines and blood samples”.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng will officially make the announcement of the project at the Farnborough International Airshow. He believes the funding will “help the sector seize on the enormous opportunities for growth that exist as the world transitions to cleaner forms of flight”.
The director of drones at BT, which is part of the drone superhighway project, said that “this drone capability has existed for quite some time, but is in its infancy in terms of being actually part of our society and being a usable application.”
Dave Pankhurst added that “this is about taking a significant step towards that point. It’s going to open up so many opportunities.”
Skynet, on the other hand, will be connecting the airspace over Reading, Oxford, Milton Keynes, Cambridge, Coventry and Rugby, completing it by mid-2024, and will receive £12 million.
The UK government is funding a total of £105.5 million for projects that are specifically related to “integrated aviation systems and new vehicle technologies”.
Ground-based sensor installation along the highway will enable a real-time view of where the drones are located during delivery, and help in traffic management of the flying devices to avoid collisions.