News&Topics

2021/04/30

A.L.I. Succeeds in Drone Logistics Demonstration Experiment to Decarbonize Logistics and Support Isolated Communities in Times of Disaster

A.L.I. Technologies Inc. (Main office: Tokyo, Minato-ku; CEO: Daisuke Katano; hereinafter A.L.I.), participated in a demonstration experiment *1 with Echizen City, Fukui Prefecture, and led by AOI Energy Solutions Inc. (Fukui Division Office: Fukui Pref., Fukui City; Representative: Koji Yamamoto), to test the practical application of drones in logistics, and successfully operated at level 3 conditions (Unassisted, out of line of sight).

【Background and Purpose of Demonstration】
The township of Echizen has many villages in mountainous regions, and it is a challenge to maintain the quality of services provided by the current means of transportation and logistics in times of disaster, as well as the issues that arise from a declining population and aging society. Additionally, it is necessary to reduce CO2 emissions by using drones as an alternative means of logistics, and to study the construction of a sustainable logistics system in cooperation with local communities.
Within this demonstration, it was shown that by using drones for logistics, the potential contribution to the people of Echizen include a significant decrease in CO2 emissions, and digital flight data was recorded that could be used for disaster prevention and relief.
In addition, in order to enable sustainable drone operations, we have implemented a system that allows real-time viewing of flight information of multiple drones, a measure to protect the safety of local residents.

【Demonstration outline】
Date: April 21, 2021 (Wed) – April 22, 2021 (Thurs)
Location: Echizen Town, Fukui Prefecture
【April 21】
Echizen Hockey Field ⇔ Miyazaki Community Center
【April 22】
Echizen Hockey Field ⇔ Oda Community Center
This experiment was conducted with the full cooperation of the Sky Station Association *2, an advisor to this project.
Under the premise of using drones to transport foodstuffs, first aid supplies, and other goods to villages isolated by road collapses during a disaster, goods were transported from the delivery base (Echizen Hockey Field) to each relay base. In future experiments, we will further transport goods from relay points to isolated villages.

【Aircraft & Flight Status】

▲Drone used in the demonstration

Carrying capacity 1kg
Maximum altitude (from ground)
Speed: ~18km/h
Distance (one-way): 7km
Time (one-way) ~30 min

【Overview of Technology and Safety Measures】
・ Logging data on the drone unit.
・ Logging data in the cloud system
・ Onboard collision avoidance sensor
・ Real-time monitoring by 360-degree camera
・ Simplified take-off button for ease of use
・ Remote control function
・ Manual operation switch function
・ Timestamp recorded on blockchain
・ Digital display with 3D map
・ City GML pre-flight simulation for route planning
・ Flight control by C.O.S.M.O.S. [air traffic control system developed by A.L.I.] *3
・ Landing/crash location prediction
・ Placement of signs to alert the public that a drone is in flight
・ Display of information on safety management personnel, etc.
・ Prediction of landing/crash location is also made visible

In addition, it is envisioned that A.L.I. will manage remote operations in the drone operating rooms of the Tokyo office and other locations in the future.

▲Flight information display using A.L.I.’s control system, C.O.S.M.O.S

With the success of this demonstration, A.L.I. was able to demonstrate its usefulness as a means of distribution between villages in mountainous regions during non-emergency times and as a potential means of transportation during disasters.
A.L.I. will continue to update its safety measures on a regular basis in order to contribute to the solution of issues that are unique to various regions, with the aim of demonstrating and commercializing Level 4 (unmanned, unaided) flights, which are expected to increase in the future.

*1) The Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) have jointly solicited applications for the “FY 2020 Subsidy for Carbon Dioxide Emission Control Measures (Project to Promote the Introduction of Advanced Technologies to Simultaneously Realize Social Reform and Decarbonize Logistics),” which is a project for the practical application of logistics using unmanned aerial vehicles in depopulated areas (subsidy for planning). The purpose of this project is to conduct a demonstration of drone flights in order to formulate a plan for implementing a project that will simultaneously reduce carbon dioxide emissions by making transportation and delivery more efficient and build a sustainable logistics network, including in times of disaster. (Including the contribution of issues necessary for the use of drones and the preparation of manuals, etc.)

*2) The aim of the Sky Station Association is to maintain and improve the quality of life of residents and increase the resilience of local communities against disasters through the spread and expansion of drones
Executive office: Japan Renewable Energy Conservation Technology Association (一般財団法人再生可能エネルギー保全技術協会)

A traffic management platform that enables UAV swarm control and air traffic control; a technology that enables more reliable planning, monitoring, and management of the health of the aircraft, operational certainty, and the safety of the surrounding area and operators, which are the principles of automated UAV operations.
Reference release: https://ali.jp/en/2019/10/23/3568/

<Overview of A.L.I.>
A.L.I. is a drone technology and AI business that develops business solutions for a wide range of industries. Such solutions include AI equipped drones, a computing power sharing service that boasts an autonomous distributed processing system, and the world’s first practical hoverbike.
A.L.I. will continue to innovate by developing products that creatively utilize technologies such as drone, blockchain, and AI.

Official site: https://ali.jp/en/
For any inquiries, please contact: info@ali.jp (PR Unit)

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