Robotics

Nordic initiative for drone transport of passengers

20th November 2020
Alex Lynn

The Nordic countries are joining forces to drive the development of drone transports for both goods and passengers. The Nordic Drone Initiative (NDI) will pave the way for new sustainable business models. It can be about air-taxis, autonomous courier services or new tourist concepts.

“We have very similar conditions in the Nordic region in terms of weather but also within infrastructure, market and regulations. Together we can be in the front of the development and make it possible for companies to develop sustainable transport solutions with drones,” said Tor Skoglund from RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.

The goal for NDI is to drive the development of sustainable drone-based transport services in the Nordic region. The Nordic countries have the ambition to be a leader in the development of sustainable business models in the digital age. Forecasts for drones with passengers and parcel deliveries indicate that that market is heading for a dramatic increase in the next ten years.

NDI is a two-year initiative with five overarching objectives:

  1. To identify and evaluate how drones can be used in the transport sector to provide the greatest benefit to society, business and the environment.
  2. Map the Nordic ecosystem for drones and the opportunities that this technology provides.
  3. Contribute to the development of drone technology for Nordic weather conditions.
  4. Propose the development of rule changes that enable drone transports and large-scale operations with vertical take-off and landing.
  5. Create a platform for continued research and innovation and developed international cooperation.

The Nordic Drone Initiative is co-financed by Nordic Innovation through their Nordic Smart Mobility and Connectivity program, led by RISE and consists of 16 partners from four Nordic countries including RISE, Katla Aero, Flypulse, Kista Science City, Mainbase, LFV and Region Östergötland from Sweden; VTT, Bell Rock Advisors, Robots Expert, Business Tampere from Finland; NORCE, Nordic Edge, UAS Norway and Drone Nord from Norway; and Gate21 from Denmark. The project reference group includes Norwegian Avinor ANS and Finnish ANS.

The project is welcoming partners and will collaborate with NEA - the Nordic Network for Electric Aviation to jointly plan for short- and long-haul transports with electric aircraft.

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