Zipline’s new P2 delivery drones that dock and recharge autonomously

Logistics startup Zipline’s new next-generation delivery drone, dubbed the Platform 2 or P2 Zip can autonomously recharge by parking itself to the hanging charging stations.

Zipline’s new drone, dubbed the Platform 2 or P2 Zip, is capable of carrying up to eight pounds worth of cargo within a ten-mile radius, and can land a package on a space as small as a table or doorstep.

Logistics startup Zipline has flown more than 38 million miles with its autonomous electric delivery drones since the company was founded in 2014. Zipline put its first fleet to work in Rwanda, delivering blood and other health supplies to clinics and hospitals. Since then, the Silicon Valley startup has expanded its service in six other countries, with limited delivery service and distribution centers in three states.

Zipline was founded to create the first logistics system that serves all humans equally. We design, manufacture and operate the world’s largest instant logistics and delivery system that is used by businesses, governments and consumers. Zipline is transforming the way goods move, from powering Rwanda’s national blood delivery network and Ghana’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution, to providing on-demand home delivery for e-commerce, to enabling healthcare providers to bring care directly to U.S. homes. The technology is complex, and includes autonomous, electric drones, but the idea is simple: a teleportation service that delivers what you need, when you need it. By transitioning to clean, electric, instant logistics, we can decarbonize delivery, decrease road congestion, and reduce fossil fuel consumption and air pollution, while providing equitable access for billions of people.

Zipline operates on three continents (North America, Africa and Asia) and in seven countries – Rwanda, Ghana, the U.S., Nigeria, Japan, Kenya and Côte D’Ivoire. 

Zipline has made more than 540,000 deliveries to real customers, and currently completes one every 90 seconds. Zipline has flown 40 million autonomous commercial miles, delivered almost 5 million products (including more than 8 million vaccine doses). 

Zipline has two delivery platforms – a long-range system, Platform 1, and its next-generation home delivery system, Platform 2. Our drones are what people see, but they are only a small percentage of what we do. Behind each delivery is a complex network of airspace deconfliction tools, inventory management, fulfillment software, warehousing, performance management, cold chain storage, and more. Zipline’s instant logistics system is a trusted partner for businesses, governments and consumers, and currently supports the medical, health and retail sectors, delivering blood, vaccines, COVID supplies, prescriptions, e-commerce items, products that support human and animal health, and food.

Zipline works with Walmart, Pfizer, Toyota Tsusho, Sweetgreen, NGOs, large health systems, large national governments around the world, and more.

  • Zipline’s next generation platform can deliver up to 7x as fast as traditional automobile delivery and can complete 10 mile deliveries in about 10 minutes.
  • Each next generation Zip has a 10 mile service radius while carrying a 6-8 pound payload, and can fly up to 24 miles one way.
  • Each P2 Zip can carry a 6-8 pound payload; capacity depends on a range of factors, such as wind and weather.
  • Each next-generation Zip, with its payload, weighs less than 55 pounds.
  • P2 will hover at more than 300 feet while its Droid will descend to the ground to deliver a package.  
  • P2 can precisely deliver in any open space that has a radius of just under 2 feet.
  • P2 is expected to be capable of handling the vast majority of home deliveries in the U.S. annually in the food, healthcare, and convenience sectors. 
  • P2’s loading portal enables each Zip to be loaded in seconds. 
  • Each P2 Zip will come with Zipline’s Detect and Avoid (DAA) technology, the company’s autonomous airspace deconfliction tool, which Zipline recently received approval to enable in the U.S., a key step in the path towards long range drone deliveries in the U.S. without visual observers.
  • In 2023, Zipline will conduct high volume flight tests for P2, and plans to do more than 10,000 test flights using about 100 P2 aircraft. The company will deploy its first customer pilot shortly after that BY early next year.
  • Zips can automatically redistribute themselves from dock to dock, Zipline can dynamically respond to peak order times – ensuring there’s enough delivery capacity for an urgent prescription delivery or a busy Friday pizza night or weekday lunch rush.

Safety is our top priority at Zipline, and our solution safely serves millions of people each day on three continents. Each part of our system and aircraft is designed with safety in mind. Preflight inspections, redundant systems, and real-time monitoring by our operations team provide three layers of redundancy that enhance the safety of our flights and service.

Each part of the aircraft is examined and undergoes more than 500 safety checks before each flight. Zipline’s flight critical systems operate with full redundancy; if one were to go out, the backup would activate automatically. Although Zips fly autonomously, our professional flight operations teams closely track and monitor each flight through our custom-developed monitoring system. Weather and air traffic are also monitored by our trained aviation professionals to ensure safety of the flight.

As an ultimate fail-safe, in the unlikely event that one of our drones needs to land quickly, perhaps because of a sudden weather event, we’ve built a unique, additional layer of protection: our Parachute Landing System that enables Zips to return to the ground safely. If our operators, or the computers onboard a Zip, determine the best course of action is to remove the drone from the airspace, a whole-aircraft parachute is deployed, which allows the drone to land gently and safely. The unique build and design of our aircrafts minimizes damage to anything on the ground. 

  • Zipline serves more than 3,400 health centers, and more than 45 million people. 
  • Zipline delivers 75% of Rwanda’s blood supply outside the country’s capital city.
  • Zipline has completed more than 540,000 commercial deliveries — more than most other companies in the sector combined.
  • Zipline completed more deliveries in 2022 than in all previous years combined, and is planning to complete about 1 million deliveries by the end of 2023. 
  • By 2025, Zipline expects to operate more flights annually than almost all major U.S. airlines.
  • Zipline flights reduce the carbon emissions of deliveries by 97% compared to gas cars, and are also far more efficient than electric vehicles.
  • Zipline hires entirely local leaders and teams in every market it serves.
  • Zipline was founded in 2014 and began drone delivery operations in Rwanda in 2016. 
  • Zipline operates on three continents and in Rwanda, Ghana, the U.S., Japan, Nigeria, Kenya, and Côte d’Ivoire.
  • Today in the U.S., Zipline designs, tests and manufactures its Zips in California, and serves customers in Arkansas, Utah and North Carolina. In 2024, Zipline will also operate in Michigan and Washington, and additional U.S. states will be announced soon.
  • In 2022, Zipline became the first company to receive FAA Part 135 approval for long range drone delivery in the U.S., a major step toward scaling domestically. 
  • The FAA recently authorized Zipline to enable its autonomous Detect and Avoid (DAA) technology, which is our autonomous airspace deconfliction tool, which is a key step in the path towards long range drone deliveries in the U.S. without visual observers. Zipline will soon be turning on its DAA system in the U.S., and expects that it will begin beyond line of sight flights in the U.S. later this year.