Matternet, a leading developer of commercial drone delivery systems for urban environments, has started test operations in Zurich. The drones developed by the Californian company fly individual urgent shipments of diagnostic samples from the Triemli and Waid hospitals to laboratories in just seven minutes. Up to now, the two hospitals, which are both part of the municipal central hospital, Stadtspital Zürich, owned by the city of Zurich, have relied on ground transport via what can, at times, be rather congested roads.
According to a press release issued by the company, this is the world’s longest drone delivery route above a major city. The drones are able to transport medical items with “secure end-to-end chain of custody” in addition to operating autonomously with remote supervision through Matternet’s very own mission control center in Zurich.
Matternet recently received Type Certification and a production certificate from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). As such, it is the first company in the USA to have FAA clearance to build and fly their own commercial delivery drone in the country.
“Switzerland has established itself as one of the most advanced countries in the world for scaled drone delivery operations”, comments Andreas Raptopoulos, founder and CEO of Matternet, in the press release. “And this new route in Zurich – built on the foundation of five years of successful operations in Switzerland – will help us create insights into developing a city-wide medical network that can become a template for similar networks in Europe, the USA and beyond”, he adds.