A successful delivery trial using an electric van and a drone has taken place in Oxfordshire.
The initiative, planned and overseen by Oxfordshire County Council, is part of the Harmony Project, testing low-carbon transportation as well as the integration of new mobility technologies with existing systems.
Taking place at Milton Park, in Oxfordshire, the trial, which included the use of an electric van provided by Oxfordshire County Council, and the delivery of a defibrillator, successfully highlighted that the mobility technologies tested enabled increased efficiency and speed of freight delivery.
The Harmony consortium has planned a total of three pilot demonstrations, taking place in Oxfordshire, Rotterdam and Trikala. Their overall objective is to demonstrate electric automated vehicles (AVs) and drones in real-life conditions integrating them with traditional transport modes to understand the requirements, reactions and barriers and collect real-world data. The project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.
Support, for the UK trial, was provided by academic partner, University College London, and organisations from the Harmony consortium such as RUAS, who managed the trial operation by providing and flying the drones, and Airbus through its Unmanned Traffic Management platform (UTM).
Veronica Reynolds, sustainability and community manager at Milton Park, said: “It was a real privilege for Milton Park to be chosen as the location for these cutting-edge trials in drone technology and we’re grateful for the chance to collaborate with the other consortium partners on such an exciting project.
“The benefits from this innovative technology are clear to see, particularly from a sustainability point of view, as it could ultimately lead to fewer vehicles spending less time on the roads and a reduction in carbon emissions.”