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UAE plans aerial delivery drones

Vehicles will deliver documents, packages in an effort to streamline government services

UAE plans aerial delivery drones
An aerial surveillance drone on display at the Dubai Civil Defence stand at Intersec 2014 in Dubai. The UAE government plans to use drones such as this for package delivery.

The UAE government plans to use aerial drones to improve services, using the devices as airborne messengers, according to a report from Reuters.

"The UAE will try to deliver its government services through drones," Mohammed Al Gergawi, a minister of cabinet affairs, said on Monday. "This is the first project of its kind in the world."

Prototypes of the drones have already been developed and demonstrated. They are battery-powered and incorporate a compartment for carrying packages. According to engineer Abdulrahman Alserkal, who designed the prototype, fingerprint and iris-scanning would be used to protect the drones and their cargo.

While the drones are scheduled for a six-month test phase followed by a live nationwide rollout by the end of the year, similar projects in other countries have encountered problems. Amazon.com had to abandon a drone-based delivery scheme over safety concerns and technical issues.

The UAE-based drones will have to overcome similar issues, as well as those of high summer temperatures and sandstorms.

"Within a year from now we will understand the capabilities of the system and what sort of services, and how far we can deliver. Eventually a new product will be launched across all the country," Gergawi said.


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