Co-op Aichi's drone delivery demonstration experiment


Co-op Aichi* has been one of the first to start an experiment with drone home delivery in Japan.

On September 10, 2021, Co-op Aich conducted a demonstration experiment in which a drone delivers goods. This experiment was carried out in cooperation with the Higashimikawa Drone・River Concept Promotion Council**, Nagoya Railroad Co., Ltd, Shinshiro City, and Toyokawa City. The purpose of the experiment was to verify the issues and CO2 reduction effects of drone delivery in mountainous areas. In the experiment, a drone was used for a part of the home delivery in the mountainous area of Shinshiro City***, Aichi Prefecture.

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                   (Left) Put products (8 items) in the special insulation box.      (Right) Setting the box to the drone.

First, products were delivered by a truck to a site of a vacant elementary school. There, the goods were loaded on a drone, flew through the sky above a river, and landed directly in front of a co-op member's house about 2.1 km away. Eventually, the member received the products. The delivered products were 8 items (about 3kg) including 500ml of Co-op milk, eggs, mini tofu, sausage, etc.

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(Left)  Drone flying with the products    (Right) A co-op member receiving products in front of her house

The co-op member said, "our house is located at the end of a single road in a mountain, so with the drone delivery, I could secure food and would feel relieved especially when the road becomes inaccessible due to a disaster." "I want to live in peace in a place where I am accustomed to living. So even if the number of houses is decreasing due to depopulation, I expect co-ops to deliver products by using trucks and drones."

In the future, Co-op Aichi will continue to work in cooperation with the government and residents to solve issues such as the inefficiency of delivering products in mountainous areas, lack of drivers, and isolation of villages due to disasters.
*Co-op Aichi is a consumer co-op engaged in businesses such as home delivery, stores, and welfare business in Aichi Prefecture, with a membership of about 519,000 as of March 20, 2021.

**This is a public-private partnership council established for the purpose of promoting community developments through the social implementation of future technologies and efforts to revitalize local economies and solve local issues by the accumulation of new industries such as drone and air mobility.

***About 6,900 households (40%) in Shinshiro City are members of Co-op Aichi.

tags: depopulation, drone delivery, mountainous area