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German Startup Wingcopter Started a Drone and Electric Cargo-Bike Delivery Project

Wingcopter and the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (Frankfurt UAS) launched the “Drohnen-Lastenrad-Express-Belieferung“ (“Drone-Cargo Bike Express Delivery”) project.

Wingcopter and the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (Frankfurt UAS) launched the “Drohnen-Lastenrad-Express-Belieferung“ (“Drone-Cargo Bike Express Delivery”) project.

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Under the name “LieferMichel”, the pilot project offers residents of remote districts in Michelstadt, Hesse the opportunity to have groceries and consumer goods delivered to their homes quickly and emission-free by Wingcopter delivery drone and cargo bike.

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The drone deliveries are intended to sustainably improve local supply in the region. The project is being funded by the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) as part of the “Innovative Air Mobility” funding directive with a total of around 430,000 euros.

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Initially, the two districts of Rehbach and Würzberg well outside Michelstadt will be served. Residents of these districts can order everyday goods such as non-perishable milk, eggs, fruit and vegetables, canned food and many other non-refrigerated products via the website www.liefermichel.de and have them delivered to their homes at a desired time.

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The orders are flown by Wingcopter to set landing points just outside of the villages, from where they are transported to the end customers by electric cargo bike. To start with, a wide range of products from the local REWE store will be available for selection. Other local retailers will be added to the platform as the project progresses.

Tom Plümmer, CEO of Wingcopter, comments: “We are really proud to pilot LieferMichel, the first drone delivery service for groceries and everyday goods in Germany. Our biggest goal is to gain experience and evaluate, together with the residents, an environmentally friendly and efficient service that creates real added value for the population in rural areas. We are deeply grateful for the hospitality of the people of Odenwald and the openness with which they have welcomed the project and the LieferMichel team.”

Prof. Dr. Kai-Oliver Schocke, Director of the Research Lab for Urban Transport (ReLUT) at Frankfurt UAS, said, “We believe that a drone-based delivery service in rural areas can be a win-win situation: Residents benefit from better supply options, retailers can increase their customer catchment area without having to set up delivery services themselves. We also expect ecological benefits, as trips for smaller errands in particular can be substituted in this way,”

Dr. Tobias Robischon, mayor of the city of Michelstadt, adds: “Local supply in more remote neighborhoods is an important issue not only for us in Michelstadt, but in many rural communities in the region. That’s why we’re always interested in innovative ideas and concepts such as delivery by drone and cargo bike, and are delighted to be part of this German premiere.”

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Alongside the city of Michelstadt and REWE, Vodafone and Riese & Müller were won as associated project partners. The mobile communications company Vodafone provides the necessary mobile communications infrastructure so that the Wingcopter drones have a secure and stable connection to the ground station throughout the flight.

Dr. Robert Zores, Chief Digital Innovation Officer (CDIO) at REWE digital, is pleased about the start of the project: “We have been working on the topic of autonomous mobility in the Research & Innovations division for years and always have one goal in mind – to offer our customers new shopping experiences and to make shopping convenient and easy. We are a pioneer and trailblazer in German food retailing. In addition to numerous projects in urban areas, we are also looking forward to testing offers in rural areas and to learning and further developing technology and processes together with the project partners.”

About the Research Lab for Urban Transport (ReLUT):

In the Research Lab for Urban Transport (ReLUT) at Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, an interdisciplinary team of scientists and practitioners conducts research on current and future challenges of transport in urban areas. For example, research projects on the last mile of commercial traffic, passenger traffic, and data analyses are conducted here.

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About Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (Frankfurt UAS)

Applied sciences, high internationality and lived diversity characterize the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences. Questions from the practice receive scientifically sound answers and these research results find their way directly back into society.

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About Wingcopter
It is a German manufacturer of unmanned, all-electric delivery drones and provider of drone delivery services, specializing in enhancing medical supply chains and the logistics of urgently needed goods. The 150-strong team is dedicated to improving and saving lives worldwide through meaningful commercial and humanitarian applications. Wingcopter is a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer and Global Innovator.

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