Image: ShutterstockDrones may deliver your mail sooner than you think—if you live down under, that is.

Speaking with the Australian Financial Review, Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour announced the company will trial drone parcel deliveries to rural communities in 2016.

According to the CEO, the drones are capable of carrying parcels up to 2 kg, meet all flying requirements, have backup engines and GPS coordination capabilities, allowing them to place packages right on customers’ patios.

According to Business Insider Australia, the drones will cost around $10,000 each.  

“We’ve been talking to a major customer, an e-tailer, who would like to particularly deliver to regional and rural communities,” Fahour said to Australian Financial Review.

Early in October, Singapore Post started drone-based trial deliveries. According to BBC News, the company delivered a package containing a shirt and a letter from the main island to Pulau Ubin, a nearby small island.

In December 2013, Amazon announced planes for its own delivery drone service called Amazon Prime Air. Amazon describes the services as a “future delivery system from Amazon designed to safely get packages into customers’ hands in 30 min or less using small unmanned aerial vehicles.”

Recently, Wal-Mart filed a request with the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct a variety of outdoor drone tests. “Drones have a lot of potential to further connect our vast network of stores, distribution centers, fulfillment centers and transportation fleet,” said company spokesman Dan Toporek, according to BBC News. “There is a Wal-Mart within five miles of 70% of the U.S. population, which creates some unique and interesting possibilities for serving customers with drones.”

Australia Post’s introduction of drones is part of a larger push to modernize the company. Fahour said the company is looking to make 3-D printers available at post offices. “This is the new world, the technological revolution as opposed to the industrial revolution,” Fahour said to Australian Financial Review.

Additionally, the company launched a $20 million innovation capital fund, which will be run in conjunction with the Univ. of Melbourne.   


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