Zipline Unveils First Embedded Acoustic Detection and Avoidance System for Autonomous Drones – sUAS News


Precise and lightweight technology has the power to unlock instant delivery to the USA at scale

South of San Francisco, California, June 2022 — The world leader in instant logistics, Zipline, today unveiled its new Detect and Avoid (DAA) system. A first for the industry, the new system uses technology based on on-board acoustics to enable safe and autonomous flight in complex, even uncontrolled airspace. This technology marks a significant step forward in achieving large-scale autonomous commercial deliveries.

Zipline’s new DAA system relies on a series of small, lightweight acoustic microphones and on-board processors to navigate airspace and provide 360-degree visibility with a range of up to 2,000 meters. Using this on-board system, aircraft can autonomously monitor other aircraft in real time and adapt to changes in their flight path.

“Our DAA system is the holy grail for drone technology,” said Keenan Wyrobek, co-founder and CTO of Zipline. “We’ve created a system that’s agile enough to operate with the tiniest margins, able to think for itself and adapt in real time. DAA is the result of years of development and hundreds of thousands of flight hours. It’s an elegant response to the challenges of flying beyond the visual line of sight in the United States, not 10 years from now, but today.

Existing sense and avoid technologies rely on bulky or ground-based systems for optical or electromagnetic awareness, which are not optimal for scaling up small, long-range drone operations. Zipline’s acoustics-based system combines the lightweight, affordable hardware needed for autonomous drones with the precision regulators demand for complex airspace.

“We envision a world where physical products are delivered as quickly and easily as an SMS. DAA is the keystone to scaling instant delivery in the US and around the world,” said Keller Rinaudo, Founder and CEO of Zipline. “We envision a future in which this system becomes the industry standard for all autonomous commercial aircraft to fly safely.”

The hardware has already been integrated into Zipline’s drones and is ready to be activated for use in many regions after regulatory approval.

DAA’s unveiling comes more than five years after Zipline launched its first commercial operations. The company now makes a delivery every four minutes and has eclipsed 300,000 commercial flights. DAA is the next step in advancing its industry leadership and making the promise of instant logistics a reality worldwide.

About the zip line

Zipline is the world leader in instant logistics. Our goal is to inspire possibility, transform systems and serve all people equally. We design, manufacture and operate the world’s largest automated on-demand delivery service, which has made more than 300,000 commercial deliveries to date containing more than 5 million units of vaccines and other medical products, reducing 98% delivery emissions over traditional methods. Zipline is the trusted partner of governments, global brands and major healthcare systems. For more information on ziplining, visit


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