The Environment Ministry will test parcel delivery services using drones in sparsely populated areas in fiscal 2018, which begins next April, The Jiji Press, Japan’s news agency, quoted officials as saying.
The ministry aims to encourage a shift from truck transportation in regions where fewer parcels are delivered, expecting carbon dioxide emissions to be reduced.
In less populated areas of the country, mainly mountainous regions, parcel delivery services are often inefficient. For example, a truck may be used for a single parcel.
Drones are expected to become an alternative means of delivery, as they are emissions-free and able to make tight turns, the officials said.
In its economic growth strategy adopted in June, the government said it planned to make parcel delivery services by drone available in mountain areas in calendar 2018 and city areas in the 2020s.