China Developing Personal ID Codes For Deliveries by Drone

By Phoebe Kut, August 9, 2019

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Forget about generic zip codes, you might be receiving a unique personal ID address sometime in the near future. An idea that has been in the works since last year, the Development and Research Center of the State Post Bureau made the formal announcement during a seminar held last month at Peking University. 

The unique five or six-digit personal ID address, which could be implemented as early as next year, would help automate deliveries with the help of drones – increasing efficiency and streamlining the courier sector. The personalized code can be converted to our familiar friend – the QR code, making it easier for machines to scan and read. 

Chen Bo, deputy director of the Peking University Time and Space Big Data Collaborative Innovation Center, told reporters that handwritten addresses still create problems during the ‘last mile’ of distribution. 

READ MORE: Meituan's Robot Delivery Service Catches Global Attention

As well, with this new age of drone delivery and automation, these technologies could help alleviate the workforce problem China has with its aging population. Time reports that if “current trends continue, China’s population will peak at 1.44 billion in 2029 before entering ‘unstoppable’ decline.” Experts estimate that with the implementation of the new codes, “express vehicles can be reduced by 71%, end-delivery vehicles by 77%, express delivery staff by 41% and total distribution costs will be reduced by 44%.”

The State Post Bureau of the People’s Republic of China did clarify that this project is still in the research stage, and that the proposed personalized ID address would not replace postal codes (at least, not yet). All this innovation may come at a cost for consumers, though, as the Personal Address ID database would be a part of a “public information platform” as “data resources are national resources,” as stated by the bureau. 

Fun fact: You’ve seen the SF delivery men whizzing around, balancing their carefully assembled packages atop their scooters, but did you know that China generates an astounding 180 million packages a day? 

READ MORE: Your Takeaway Order in Shanghai Might Soon Be Delivered By a Drone

[Cover image via Unsplash]

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