TOKUSHIMA – The transport ministry tested a drone in Tokushima Prefecture on Wednesday to deliver parcels containing food items to elderly households in sparsely populated areas.
The test was mainly targeted at elderly residents who have difficulties going shopping, and was conducted jointly with Mikawaya21, a Tokyo-based company that is working on turning drone-using parcel delivery services into a potential business.
In Wednesday’s experiment, a drone carrying such food items as bread and milk flew for about 500 meters at an altitude of around 50 meters over crop fields. On its way back, the drone was loaded with eggs and equipment designed to measure the impact of takeoffs and landings.
The test was conducted in Naka, which is designated by the prefectural government as a special zone that seeks to revitalize its economy through drone use.
Parcel delivery drones “would address the shortage of delivery truck drivers, reduce time and costs, and be a relief for seniors in thinly populated areas who have become shopping refugees,” said an official of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.