Zipline, a frontrunner in autonomous drone delivery services, has achieved a significant milestone in its mission to establish an inclusive and extensive delivery system. On November 17, 2023, the company successfully completed its first Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flight in Salt Lake City, Utah, marking a pivotal moment in drone delivery across the United States.
The BVLOS flight, executed without ground-based visual observers—a requirement previously mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration —demonstrates Zipline's compliance with the FAA's stringent safety standards. This development opens the door for Zipline to scale its operations significantly across the nation.
Zipline's onboard perception system, a cornerstone of this achievement, has undergone extensive real-world testing, amassing tens of thousands of miles globally. Designed to ensure the utmost safety, this system played a crucial role in securing the FAA's approval for the company as a drone delivery operator. Within just an hour of receiving the green light from the FAA, Zipline launched its Platform 1 aircraft for the historic BVLOS flight.
Okeoma Moronu, Zipline’s Head of Global Aviation Regulatory Affairs, expressed gratitude to the FAA for their support and highlighted the significance of this advancement.
"This leap from serving thousands to potentially hundreds of thousands of homes in the U.S. is a critical step in scaling drone delivery operations," Moronu said.
Zipline's fleet, consisting of hundreds of Platform 1 drones, has been actively making around 10,000 commercial deliveries weekly. The company's operations span seven countries, with a delivery completed every 70 seconds. To date, Zipline has conducted over 815,000 customer deliveries and is gearing up to launch its Platform 2 system in 2024, aiming to cater to more urban areas.
With this achievement, Zipline is well-positioned to expand its reach and influence in the evolving landscape of autonomous delivery systems, offering faster and more efficient services across the nation.