Pilot of Finland's first automated commercial drone delivery service launches in shopping center A Bloc
September marks the first birthday of shopping center A Bloc. To celebrate the occasion, A Bloc is partnering with growth company Third Space Auto, whose drone delivery service trial begins on September 9.
Shopping center A Bloc opened its doors to the public on August 30, 2018 on the Aalto University Otaniemi campus. To celebrate A Bloc’s first birthday, the center organizes promotions and activities throughout the first week of the fall semester, September 9-15, 2019.
As part of the birthday celebration, a pilot of Finland’s first fully automated commercially available drone delivery service is launched in collaboration with startup company Third Space Auto. The trial involves four A Bloc stores – Brooklyn Cafe, Fafa’s, K-Market Otaniemi and Little Bouquet Factory – whose pre-selected products can be ordered and paid for via the ByDrone app. The app is available for Android phones on Google Play Store, and coming soon to Apple phones.
“From the beginning, A Bloc has focused on working closely with the university community to develop the center itself, as well as new retail concepts. Last year we investigated people flows at the Junction hackathon, and this year we focus on developing new transport solutions via drones. We are delighted at how well the center has been received in Otaniemi during the first year, and will continue our pioneering work on shopping center development in the future”, says Eetu Ristaniemi, Director of Real Estate Investments at Aalto University Campus & Real Estate.
Support to local actors and a wider selection for consumers
The drone delivery service was developed by Third Space Auto, a growth company operating in the Aalto University campus startup hub A Grid. The trial launches in the beginning of the A Bloc birthday week, September 9, 2019 and continues for three months.
“Our mission is to make cutting edge drone technologies available to retailers and logistics providers in the Otaniemi area to enable fast transportation of food and basic groceries within a 10-kilometer radius. Drones offer a faster, greener and more efficient delivery alternative especially for small packages and urgent deliveries. Within Otaniemi, our delivery time by air is maximum 4 minutes”, says Arshia Gratiot, co-founder of Third Space Auto.
In the ByDrone application, the customer selects the nearest delivery point from five locations in the Otaniemi area at the time of ordering. The shipment departs from A Bloc when the order is completed. The drones are powered by AI.Pilot, a software which allows them to fly, land and take off without a manual operator. The delivery is free of charge during the campaign week.
Shopping center management
jatta.reijonen (at) aalto.fi
Third Space Auto
arshia (at) thirdspaceauto.com