Komatsu City (Mayor: Katsuei Miyahashi), SEINO HOLDINGS CO., LTD. (Head office: Ogaki City, Gifu Prefecture; President: Yoshitaka Taguchi; hereinafter referred to as “Seino HD”), Aeronext Inc. (headquartered in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; Keisuke Toji, CEO; hereinafter “Aeronext”), and NEXT DELIVERY Inc. (Head office: Kosuge Village, Yamanashi Prefecture; Keisuke Toji, CEO; hereafter “NEXT DELIVERY”) conducted a demonstration experiment of “drone delivery in mountainous areas” on December 23, 2022, in the Matsudo district of Komatsu City with the aim of building a new logistics service by utilizing next-generation advanced technology.
This demonstration experiment is an initiative under the “Collaboration Agreement for Regional Development through the Utilization of Next-generation Advanced Technology” signed on December 13 by Komatsu City, Seino HD, Aeronext, and KDDI SmartDrone, and is being developed and implemented by Seino HD and Aeronext with the aim of solving regional issues faced by Komatsu City. NEXT DELIVERY, a subsidiary of Aeronext, which is mainly engaged in the drone delivery service business, utilized the “SkyHub®*2” mechanism and technology, a new smart logistics*1 that combines drone delivery and land transportation, to solve the local issues faced by Komatsu City.
【Demonstration Experiment Overview】
- Background and Purpose
Aging rate for Komatsu City as a whole is 28.7%, but there are districts in the mountainous areas where the rate exceeds 40% (as of November 1, 2012). There is concern that the aging of the population in the mid-mountainous areas will result in a decline in convenience in daily life, such as for daily shopping and receiving medicine.
In order to maintain and optimize logistics services, the private sector and the government will work together to create a system for shopping on behalf of customers, disaster relief, and pharmaceutical delivery by incorporating drone delivery as the last one-mile transportation method and introducing a new smart logistics system that links and integrates ground transportation and drone delivery.
The purpose of this demonstration experiment is to promote understanding of drones in the region and to conduct research for public verification of radio wave strength, natural environment, and obstacle checks, with a view to societal implementation of the new smart logistics system.
A drone delivery of daily necessities was made from Seseragi no Sato to Matsuhigashi Midori Gakuen in the Matsuhigashi area of Komatsu City to support shopping and supplies in the mid-mountainous area.
In about 7 minutes, AirTruck*3, a logistics drone developed by Aeronext, delivered Novelty goods of Komatsu City’s image character “Kabukky” from Seseragi no Sato to about 40 students and “Kabukky” waiting on the grounds of Matsuhigashi Midori Gakuen. The students cheered as they thought the drone was like a Christmas present delivered from the sky.
Students made comments such as, “It’s amazing to have a self-driving drone,” and “I want you to deliver my own luggage someday.”
Based on the partnership agreement, the four parties will continue to mutually cooperate and collaborate with each other and with local businesses to study the societal implementation of a new smart logistics “SkyHub ®”, a new smart logistics system that combines drone delivery and land delivery using drones and other next-generation advanced technologies, in line with the city’s issues and the needs of its citizens, and contribute to solving local issues and revitalizing Komatsu City.
*1 New Smart Logistics
A public-private initiative to find solutions to the issues commonly faced by the logistics industry, such as labor shortages, environmental and energy issues, and DX areas, while utilizing digital and technology to ensure the future sustainability of logistics, which is an indispensable infrastructure for people’s daily lives. The project aims to realize the last mile joint delivery, the best mix of land and air transportation, freight and passenger consolidation, automated technology, etc., through co-creation based on an open public platform (O.P.P.) that transcends the boundaries between the industry and the outside world.
*2 New Logistics SkyHub®︎
A new smart logistics system that connects existing logistics and drone logistics jointly promoted by Aeronext and Seino Holdings Co., Ltd., and connects the ground and air infrastructure so that goods can be delivered anytime, anywhere. It features an open platform and standardized mechanism that incorporates drone delivery and realizes joint delivery. The introduction of SkyHub will contribute to solving social issues in the region, such as population decline, labor shortage due to declining birthrate and aging population, traffic problems in specific depopulated areas, medical problems, disaster countermeasures, and measures against vulnerable logistics from the aspect of logistics reform. It is possible to raise the satisfaction level of residents and communities by improving the convenience and quality of life of residents, which is also meaningful in promoting regional revitalization.
AirTruck, the first mass-produced logistics drone developed in Japan by Aeronext Corporation, a next-generation drone technology startup, in collaboration with ACSL, achieves stable flight with Aeronext’s proprietary 4D GRAVITY®*3 airframe structure design technology. The AirTruck is a dedicated logistics drone that goes “faster, farther, and is more stable” with enhanced for logistics, specialized for forward motion, and aerodynamic characteristics required for long-distance flight. The prototype has flown in demonstration tests in various regions of Japan and has the No. 1 flight record in Japan.
【About Seino HD】
Seino Holdings strives to be a value-creating comprehensive logistics trading company and aims to “provide value that transcends time and space” to its customers. Seino embraces an overall strategy of the group is to embody “Open Public Platform Construction (OPP)” that provides better and optimal services to customers through connections both inside and outside the industry in an open-neutral relationship in order to build a platform that is easy for customers and other companies in the same industry to use. In the last mile area, we are actively promoting and expanding the construction of a last mile O.P.P. that solves social issues such as measures for vulnerable shopping and measures for lower income families, while responding to changes in lifestyle and structure.
* For more information: https://www.seino.co.jp/seino/shd/overall-condition/
AERONEXT, an IP driven R & D technology startup for next-generation drones, is a company that designs the sky through technology to create a world where the sky becomes a social infrastructure, is economized, and solves social issues through drones. Our core technology is 4D GRAVITY®︎, a unique structural design technology that improves basic drone performance such as stability, efficiency, and mobility of industrial drones by optimizing the center of gravity of the aircraft. In order implement this 4D GRAVITY®︎ as standard equipment on industrial drones, we have constructed a strong patent portfolio and are promoting a partnership-based platform business for the 4D GRAVITY®︎ license globally.
AERONEXT has also founded a subsidiary to implement the SkyHub® smart logistics and pursue drone delivery.
*For more information: https://aeronext.com/company/
【About NEXT DELIVERY】
A subsidiary of AERONEXT, NEXT DELIVERY is focused on drone delivery, and was established in Kosuge Village, Yamanashi Prefecture in 2021 with the vision of “becoming a country where affluence is spread to every corner of the earth through 4D LogisticsTM infrastructure that connects air, land, and time in the age of 100 years of life. NEXT DELIVERY is engaged in substantive planning and operation of SkyHub, a new smart logistics system that connects existing logistics and drone logistics, which has been jointly developed by Aeronext and Seino HD, and is promoting nationwide development of the system. NEXT DELIVERY is also developing peripheral businesses such as the development, manufacture, sale, rental, and maintenance of hardware and software related to drone delivery. Starting with Kosuge Village in Yamanashi Prefecture, the company is working to improve the efficiency and vitality of regional logistics in places such as Kamishihoro Town in Hokkaido and Tsuruga City in Fukui Prefecture.
*Company profile is available at https://nextdelivery.aeronext.co.jp/
*AERONEXT and the AERONEXT logo, as well as “4D GRAVITY®” and “SkyHub® are trademarks of AERONEXT Co.
*Other company names and product/service names mentioned in this press release are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective owners.
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