Aeronext, Inc., which is involved in air logistics using drones, works on regular deliveries to areas affected by landslides.
In September 2022, a landslide occurred in the Nakatsugawa area of Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture. The logistics are still disrupted. Only some emergency vehicles are allowed to pass through, but during the winter, snowfall and icy road surfaces make vehicular traffic extremely difficult. That’s where Aeronext, Inc., stepped in to deliver supplies via remote autonomous drone flight.
Six companies, including a telecommunications company, a construction company, a tourism organization, a supermarket, a pharmacy, and a convenience store, endorsed the project. The drone delivers up to 5 kg of food, daily essentials, medicines, and other supplies multiple times. Because mobile communication in the area is unstable, the flight operation uses Starlink, a sanitation broadband service. The program is scheduled to run through the end of March, with one delivery per week.
The company will accumulate operational skills for drone deliveries in communication dead zones with two technologies. They are a mass-production logistics drone jointly developed with ACSL Inc. and a system developed by KDDI Smart Drone that enables remote control of drones, autonomous flight, and real-time video sharing. The company’s vision is to build solutions that enable drone delivery in mountainous areas and during disasters where the communication environment is unstable.