Drones are delivering coffee to the Swiss

Mercedes-Benz is working with an e-commerce startup and a drone maker to test a delivery system that uses both drones and vans to get goods to consumers.

Nicholas Tufnell Associate Editor

The trial run combines the forces of an e-commerce startup, a drone maker and Mercedes-Benz.

Daimler AG

I don't know about you, but I've certainly dreamed of having my coffee delivered from the sky.

Mercedes-Benz started making that a reality this week for a few lucky people in Zurich, Switzerland. Teaming up with e-commerce startup Siroop and drone maker Matternet, the car manufacturer is testing out drones to try to speed up delivery times.

Here's how it works: Customers in need of coffee beans, for example, place an order with Siroop, an online shopping site, which stocks drone-ready items from retailers like Black & Blaze Coffee Roasting Co. The drones then fly to one of four predetermined locations in Zurich, where they land on the roof of Mercedes-Benz Vito vans, which then drive the order the final stretch to the customer.

"We have the great opportunity here to conduct the most extensive testing in an urban environment to date,"  Stefan Maurer, head of future transportation at Mercedes-Benz Vans, said in a statement.

The drone trial will last three weeks. Other products are available too, such as phones, smart watches and a handful of random items like Ray-Ban sunglasses and Gillette razor blades.