FedEx Express will begin testing autonomous air cargo delivery using VTOL drones from 2023.  

The shipping company will partner with Elroy Air, a California-based company that is currently developing “the first end-to-end autonomous vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aerial cargo system” called the Chaparral.  

This aircraft can autonomously transport up to 230 kilograms of cargo and deliver it by air with a range of up to 500 kilometers (300 miles). 

“FedEx was built on innovation and we are always looking toward new technologies to help enhance the logistics industry through improved safety, efficiency and customer service,” said Joe Stephens, senior vice president, global planning, engineering and technology, FedEx Express in a press release. “We look forward to continued testing and learning throughout our collaboration with Elroy Air.” 

The partnership between FedEx and Elroy Air began in January 2020. They will jointly begin flight testing in 2023.