”What the Internet did for immaterial goods, the unmanned cargo aircraft will do for material goods,” predicts Dr. Hans Heerkens from the Department of Industrial Engineering and Business Information Systems at University of Twente, Netherlands.
As global value chains get more and more fragmented, and as the need to connect remote locations with major global markets increases, Dr. Hans Heerkens expects the demand for new transportation solutions to grow. He believes that unmanned cargo aircraft (UCA) will give a major boost for the global economy in the future.
”With UCA, low volume goods can be transported from anywhere to everywhere in a safe, fast, and cost-efficient way. This may happen surprisingly soon as all the relevant players such as shippers, freight forwarders, civil and military aircraft manufacturers, air cargo companies, and regulators start putting their heads together on this challenge,” says Dr. Heerkens.
The University of Twente holds the chair of the Platform Unmanned Cargo Aircraft (PUCA). Its members represent several leading European and American organizations interested in developing the future solutions in unmanned air cargo.
Who will get the drone rolling?
According to Dr. Heerkens (pictured right), the main technological innovations from ground control systems to aircraft design are already here, even though a lot of fine-tuning, choosing which technologies to apply, along with testing still needs to be done. Read more