Chinese eCommerce Giant JD.com is at it again. Drone Dossier has previously reported on JD’s efforts to widen drone deliveries in China by working with local government entities. This time JD has partnered with the northern Chinese province of Shaanxi to set up a low altitude drone (UAV) logistics network covering the whole province.
It is reported that JD plans on using this network to operate large and medium sized UAVs that can carry tonnes of weight and travel up to 300 kilometers. If JD and Shaanxi officials can get things running as planned, it will be the first operating drone logistics network for package delivery in the world. Given JD’s efforts so far, it’s the opinion of Drone Dossier that JD will pull it off.
Right now reports out of China are not specific on exactly how the network is being set up. As more info comes in we will be sure to share it.
Back in the States, drone software company AirMap—whose software package helps manage drone traffic by providing uses with up-to-date data on airspace usage and restrictions around them—just raised $26 million in series B funding.
The AirMap app, available for free, helps drone uses plan flights and operate safely. On the back end, AirMap is working to make its platform a go-to choice for drone manufacturers, regulators (like the FAA), and airports to monitor and manage drone operations.
AirMap CTO Daniel Rubio recently said on AirMap’s blog that they are working to build a “new kind of map…a map for ‘things’ in addition to people, is a critical part of our vision for AirMap. We imagine a flexible, self-healing platform, capable of processing a tremendous amount of data about the current state of the airspace, and delivering a response that is computed and tailored to each specific flight in real time. We call this concept computational airspace, and we think it represents an important part of the future of the entire drone ecosystem.”