Germany's national railway invests in British drone start-up

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-13 03:29:38|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BERLIN, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Germany's national railway company Deutsche Bahn (DB) invested in the British start-up Skyports, which is specialized in the development of concepts for the transport of goods and passengers with "innovative aircraft", the company announced on Thursday.

DB did not reveal how much money was invested in Skyports. However, the British drone start-up announced last week to have raised 5.35 million pounds (7.05 million U.S. dollars) in a joint funding of which DB and other companies had been part.

Skyports operates landing sites and organizes all aspects of innovative air transport, such as passenger handling as well as clarifying legal and safety issues around drones.

According to DB, its customers would be at the focus of the "far-reaching potential" of drone technology. Aiming to make transport of goods "faster, more flexible and more efficient", the two companies wanted to test how drones could be integrated into logistics supply chains.

"Drone technology is developing rapidly," said Sabina Jeschke, DB member of the management board for digitalization and technology. "Together with Skyports, we want to investigate how we can participate in this dynamic development for the mobility of people and goods in the future."

By using so-called multicopters to control vegetation along railway lines and to inspect bridges and buildings, DB have already explored drone technology in a model project supported by the European Commission.

The "Urban Air Mobility" initiative was aiming to conduct practical studies on the use of aircraft for urban mobility, with the test field in the German city of Ingolstadt, said the company.