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Drone delivery

Drone delivery in rural areas

The project will develop drone delivery solution, integrate with the last-mile delivery chain, conduct pilot studies in Nörrtälje municipality, and investigate the solution feasibility, user acceptance, and impacts on transport emission. The project will place a milestone in Sweden in introducing drone-based goods delivery in rural areas.

Delivery of parcels and goods in Swedish rural areas is challenging with longer delivery time and transport emissions, especially in archipelago areas where water transport is needed. Climate change is an urgent issue that requires us to make all efforts to find counter solutions, while online shopping is driving the need for logistics to a new time high. Last-mile parcel transport to places with sparse population is normally done with fossil drive vehicles and/or bicycles. In many rural places, residents will most probably need to drive to collect their parcels due to the distances, causing even more emissions. On the other hand, drone delivery as a new transport method holds strong potentials to reduce the last-mile transport emission and to improve service quality and availability. However, despite the potential positive impact of drones, testing drone delivery is in its infancy in Sweden.

Together with a drone delivery start up, a logistic stakeholder, a municipality, and end-users, this project aims at investigating the state-of-the-art of drone delivery with adaptations to Swedish rural characteristics to reduce emission, increase service equality and accessibility. The project will develop drone delivery solutions and integrate with the last-mile logistics to investigate how last mile transport can be supported by drones to reduce climate impacts and what are the implementation challenges. Pilot studies are planned in Norrtälje municipality with customers who live on the islands. Integration experiences, user perception and impacts will be analyzed for generating insights and recommendations on next steps for commercial drone delivery in Sweden.

The project is coordinated by RISE Research Institutes of Sweden with collaborations of Aerit - the Swedish drone delivery startup, ICAx - the innovation group at ICA Gruppen, the Norrtälje municipality, and ICA Gräddö - the local ICA grocery store and post pick up point.

DiG will carry out drone deliveries within 6 km of ICA Nära Gräddö. For those who are interested, please read our Q&A at and sign up to Aerit team at

We have more projects on drones for rural mobility, check Skara Guardian Angel where we test drones for bicycle road lighting in rural areas.


Project name





Region Stockholm

RISE role in project


Project start


12 månader

Total budget

1 495 280


Aerit, Nörrtälje Kommun, ICA Gruppen AB




Project members

Supports the UN sustainability goals

3. Good health and well-being
9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
10. Reduced inequalities
11. Sustainable cities and communities
13. Climate action
16. Peace, justice and strong institutions
Lei Chen

Contact person

Lei Chen

Senior Researcher

Read more about Lei

Contact Lei
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