The US often enjoys being the first of many things, especially tech-based services, given that so many tech titans are headquartered on American soil. But the nation has been slow to accept the idea of commercial drones—while Canada and parts of Europe seem more eager to allow the innovative technology to advance.
Drone Delivery Canada, for example, recently received a Special Flight Operations Certificate from Transport Canada. That certificate allows the Ontario company to accelerate testing in Canadian skies. DDC, founded in 2014, is testing the delivery of parcels up to 10 pounds.
“Our drone logistics platform is quickly progressing to the Canadian skies,” says Tony Di Benedetto, CEO of Drone Delivery Canada. “Not only are we the first and only drone logistics company in Canada, we now have just obtained a Special Flight Operations Certificate from Transport Canada allowing us to test fly with potential customers.”
While tests are limited to 90 meteres in altitude and a speed of 150 kilometres per hour, it’s still a step forward.
Amazon, who has been public about its interest in drone delivery for years, has been testing drones in Canada since 2015 and this year also started working with the UK.
“Using small drones for the delivery of parcels will improve customer experience, create new jobs in a rapidly growing industry, and pioneer new sustainable delivery methods to meet future demand,” said Paul Misener, Amazon’s Vice President of Global Innovation Policy and Communications.
Canada Post is also exploring the concept of small drones delivering mail in Canada.
“We are in a competitive space, especially when it comes to parcel delivery and things like that,” Jon Hamilton, a Canada Post spokesman, told The Canadian Press. “We do look into these things.”
However, Canada Post’s delivery network currently consists of 13,000 vehicles, 6,000 post offices, and zero drones.