Oxfordshire science, technology and business community Milton Park has successfully completed a pilot freight demonstration using a drone and an electric van provided by Oxfordshire County Council.
The initiative is part of the HARMONY project, testing low-carbon transportation ND the integration of new mobility technologies with existing systems. Support was provided by University College London and organisations from the Harmony consortium such as RUAS, which piloted and supplied the drones. Airbus also assisted with its Unmanned Traffic Management platform (UTM).
The Harmony consortium’s objective is to demonstrate electric automated vehicles (AVs) and drones in real-life conditions integrating them with traditional transport modes to understand the requirements, reactions and barriers and collect real-world data. The project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.
The trials at Milton Park, which featured the delivery of a defibrillator, successfully highlighted that the mobility technologies enabled increased efficiency and speed of freight delivery.
Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change Delivery and Environment Pete Sudbury said:
“Innovative zero-carbon-ready transport is set to make a huge impact, it just needs us to demonstrate how. Hence this trial, which is another example of our close working with our world leading universities, of which we are extremely proud. As a council, we’re already doing high profile work to help everyone reduce their individual emissions footprint and this is how we’re looking to decarbonise the rest.”
Veronica Reynolds, Sustainability and Community Manager at Milton Park, said:
“It was a real privilege for Milton Park to be chosen as the location for these cutting-edge trials in drone technology and we’re grateful for the chance to collaborate with the other consortium partners on such an exciting project.
“The benefits from this innovative technology are clear to see, particularly from a sustainability point of view, as it could ultimately lead to fewer vehicles spending less time on the roads and a reduction in carbon emissions.”