CommercialFleet

Liverpool to host first urban logistics drone trial

A new project to test the suitability of drones for urban logistics is being launched in Liverpool.

Drone Major Group’s ‘Test and Development Area’ project will be carried out in partnership with Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) and is expected to put the region on the path to become a global leader in the deployment of drone technology.   

It is the first in a series of interconnected projects developed by Drone Major Group to deliver commercially viable, scalable and environmentally sustainable drone services across all environments (surface, underwater, air & space), and in all the sectors that are vital for the UK and world economy. 

The project promises numerous benefits to the City Region, creating new investment and economic growth, employment, skills, education and a cleaner environment. 

LCRCA has facilitated the active involvement of vital stakeholders, including; Peel Ports Group, LogisticsUK, SP Energy Networks, Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) Liverpool John Lennon Airport, the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University.  

A roadmap has been created, outlining a clear pathway to develop operational drone capabilities to be delivered in the fields of urban logistics, the environment, security, maritime logistics, port & maritime, and the wider community. 

All projects within the newly established Phoenix programme, which currently comprises 10 new initiatives addressing these sectors across the UK, will share a common operational model and advanced data analysis to ensure that progress accelerates exponentially.  

Robert Garbett, founder of Drone Major Group, said: “Drones represent an unprecedented growth opportunity across a huge number of global industries. Liverpool City Region has clearly demonstrated its commendable intent to adopt a sustainable and commercially viable drone technology system for the City, ahead of the curve, which sets an example to all. 

“The potential for this unique collaborative initiative is vast. It enables cities, regions and industries to achieve their potential and will create an overwhelmingly positive impact on UK, and indeed world economic growth through enhanced commerce, employment, skills, education and decarbonisation.” 

The Liverpool City Region benefits from some of the country’s most advanced digital infrastructure, academic knowledge and individual experts, who will be integral to realising the potential of autonomous drone systems in the UK. These include the University of Liverpool’s Centre for Autonomous Systems Technology (CAST), Liverpool Institute for Sustainable Coasts and Oceans (LISCO) and Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC), and the drone research group at Liverpool John Moores University.  

Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram of the Liverpool City Region, added: “The Liverpool City Region is a digital powerhouse. We have the world class infrastructure, expertise and ambition to be leaders of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It’s fantastic to see the Drone Major Group recognising that by choosing to open their test and development area here. 

“This project will deliver new jobs and investment and will attract people to our area not just to work but to study too, knowing that we are working on cutting edge and exciting projects such as this, as well as ambitious plans in everything from digital infrastructure and tidal power.” 


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