On July 15, 2020, the first demonstration day Autonomous Flying took place, which was jointly organized by Hive.Mobility, the province of Groningen and DroneHub GAE.
DroneHub GAE has started the long-term Autonomous Flying programme on behalf of and in collaboration with the province of Groningen. The ultimate goal of the province of Groningen is to work in collaboration with various parties towards fully autonomous flying for goods and people.
Test flights drones
The first step is to organize test flights and live demonstrations. In collaboration with Hive.Mobility, the first demonstration day took place at the Zernike Campus Groningen, where there were flights between two locations. This demonstration was a first successful introduction to the possibilities of autonomous drones.
Daniël Koelikamp, programme manager Smart Mobility, province of Groningen: “As province, we are looking for innovative solutions for mobility. One of those innovative solutions could be the transport of goods or packages with drones. With these tests, we want to see, for example, whether we can fly with medicine packages to certain regions in the province.”
Autonomous flying challenges
The road to fully autonomous flying for goods and people presents the necessary challenges, such as acceptance by residents and employees, the laws and regulations regarding autonomous flying, not to mention the robustness, reliability and intelligence of such systems.
“New legislation and regulations will soon be introduced in Europe and this will make much more possible. That is why we want to look at the possibilities of autonomous flying over longer distances. The steps we took during the test and demo days are necessary to eventually make autonomous commercial flying possible”, says Egbert Swierts, Business Developer, DroneHub GAE.
Ilse Mensink, programme manager Hive.Mobility: “Hive.Mobility is the network of partners in the Northern Netherlands that works together on smart and sustainable mobility solutions. This project of our partner the province of Groningen fits in perfectly with this. From Hive.Mobility we therefore support this project fully by organizing the test and demo days, but also by helping to find more partners to take this project further.”
DroneHub GAE and the Province of Groningen are looking for partners who want to take the next steps together.