Japan plans drone delivery to remote areas by 2018
New service could support elderly and deliver disaster relief.
The Japan Government is planning drone delivery services to parts of the country with lower population.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has committed to drawing up measures to make it a reality within the next three years, The Japan Times cited a government source as saying. The service has most potential for supporting the elderly and delivering relief to disaster-stricken areas,
The cost of developing the service is to be included in next year’s government budget.
The government will also support businesses to start home deliveries by drones in cities by 2020 - the same year that Tokyo will host the Summer Olympics.
A government survey in February and March showed that 18% of local governments are optimistic about drone deliveries, according to the newspaper.
The government will work with the private sector to improve the security of drone technologies to win support for expansion of such services.
Elsewhere in the region, Singapore has begun experiments with drone deliveries in the national university. These trials, and later ones in the port, are in preparation to use the technology on a larger scale.
Meanwhile, South Korea wants to make home delivery by drones a reality by 2020. The government is working with businesses and universities to trial the service over the next three years.
Image by Andrew Turner, licensed under CC BY 2.0