A new project carried out by Swiss Post will see drones deliver laboratory samples between University Hospital Zurich (USZ) and the Irchel Campus of the University of Zurich (UZH).

The project is expected to last a year. During that time, Swiss Post, drone manufacturer Matternet, USZ and UZH will look at the long-term viability of autonomous drones.

Transportation of laboratory samples between USZ and UZH in Irchel is twice as fast by drone as it is by road, Swiss Post said in a statement.

Rapid delivery is particularly crucial in the medical sector, the statement noted.

UZH Operations Manager Renate Gröger said drones cut waiting times for patients and doctors alike.

The Zurich project kicks off on December 10th with Swiss Post working closely on safety with the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) and the Skyguide navigation service provider which monitors Swiss air space.

Similar projects using drones to deliver laboratory samples have previously been carried out in Bern and Lugano.

Swiss Post has long positioned itself at the forefront of new technology.

In 2015 it started testing parcel delivery by drone, but said it did not expect their “realistic commercial use” for another five years.

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