by Emre Yazıcı
As demand shifts further and further towards e-commerce and online shopping, many businesses both large and small are responding by shifting more of their focus to the online marketplace which has led to an increase in sales that must be delivered by less-than-truckload, or LTL freight shipping. Because of this, demand for express LTL shipping services to timely deliver products to customers is increasing. Delivery by small drones, which was expected to meet the demand both in urban and rural areas, had risen and fallen during recent years. Small drones will stay as an option for deliveries in rural areas where the population is scarce and ground delivery is not practical. But they are not suitable for the task in densely populated areas, where the demand is high.
According to Drone Industry Insights (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/drone-delivery-small-big-cargo-drone-industry-insights/), the combination of direct, first-mile/ last-mile, mid-mile/ feeder, and hub forwarding will be a key component for the logistics and success of drone delivery.
PD250 is CargoTron’s offer to revolutionize time-sensitive, LTL, and B2B cargo delivery. It is designed to blur the concept of the last-mile by operating between Logistic Service Providers’ (LSP) regional or consolidation hubs and Third Party Logistics Providers’ (3PL) or customers' premises.
CargoTron has realized that a “single-step-to-customer” (unimodal) drone solution to urban cargo delivery is not practical. Any good solution should consider the existing practices - and of course, the human element. Therefore, we started from scratch, made our market research, and designed a “system”, which addresses the needs of the regulator, owner, operator, ground crew, customer, and community.
PD250 is a “1-tonne vehicle” with a payload capacity of 250 kg and a range of 600km. It bears a removable (captive-carry) cargo-pod solution that may vary in shape to match the nature of the cargo. This eliminates the limitations of an internal cargo bay and provides flexibility for differing customer requirements in payload and volume. It is possible to introduce wider or longer cargo pods as necessary.
The overall efficiency of any eVTOL solution in an “urban air mobility” (UAM) scenario, is very much determined by the ground infrastructure needs, which may amount to 50% of all costs. Minimizing the landing footprint help reduce special requirements for ground infrastructure, and hence the cost. Thanks to down-folding wings, the PD250 may serve any business that can accommodate a 13-meter diameter area in their backyards, loading bays, car parks, rooftops, etc. for safe take-off and landing. That is about one-third of the landing area required by the competition. Because PD250 can land very close to the final delivery point, a simple electric vehicle can take the cargo pod and deliver parcels either on-site or off-site to businesses and consumers, thereby easing last-yard delivery issues (bi-modal solution).
Ground safety is of paramount importance especially as the PD250 can operate from confined areas. These areas may include personnel not part of the logistics ground operation, therefore -beyond the requirements dictated by Civil Aviation Authorities, any rotating elements (i.e. both lift and cruise propellers) are positioned above head height to avoid any inadvertent interaction.
The “Plug-in Hybrid” powerplant allows for replacement with other and greener (i.e. smaller carbon footprint) alternatives, as opportunities arise. These include fuel-cell based or full-electric applications as and when the technology catches up with mission requirements.
PD250 puts proven technologies together in an innovative way to serve the cargo transport needs of business customers located up to 600 km from each other. It stands in the crowd by flying faster than quadrotor competitors, with a footprint of almost one-third of the lift+cruise competitors. For each kilogram of cargo transported, it significantly outpaces the rest in efficiency.
The long-range capability that comes with the hybrid powerplant, and the large cargo capacity bring in the flexibility for alternative missions, such as humanitarian/emergency aid, coastal surveillance, offshore oil platform, and wind-farm applications.
The CargoTron PD250 provides an environmentally conscious and novel approach to express, LTL cargo, particularly in urban areas for B2B transactions.
Visit https://cargotron.co.uk for more