Goodyear announced Wednesday it will add an autonomous blimp to its fleet.
The new blimp, dubbed Goodyear Blimp 2, will begin testing in 2021.
The blimp is a replacement for Goodyear’s Blimp 1, which was retired in 2018 after two years of service.
The Blimp was developed to deliver goods and services to small and medium-sized businesses and the U.S. military, as well as to commercial customers.
It is also a successor to the original Goodyear-Boeing Blimp, which launched in 1997 and was retired from service in 2012.
The two blimp units, known as the Boeing and the Goodyear, have a combined fleet of more than 5,300.
“We’re taking a new step forward in blimp development, which will be good for our customers and the industry,” Goodyear Chief Technology Officer David A. Burch said in a statement.
“It’s a step that will bring us closer to delivering our full vision of what we want from our blimp business and its future.”
A new blimps will replace the existing blimbs that are in service.
They are expected to be in service in 2021 and 2021, with the latter date to be based on weather conditions and other factors.
The announcement comes just two weeks after Boeing announced a new, high-speed, commercial drone that will deliver supplies to U.K. and European customers.
The new Blimp is expected to reduce costs, improve safety and save time, as it is smaller than the existing Blimp.
It will be a cost-effective option for businesses, Burch explained in a conference call with analysts.
“In fact, it’s one of the first commercial aircraft that we’ve seen that actually delivers in a very low-cost way,” he said.
“We think it’s a good thing for the industry and we’re very excited to be able to bring this to market.”
Burch said the blimp will be capable of delivering products to remote areas, but it will not have a runway.
The blimp’s pilot and crew will operate autonomously.
Burch also announced that the Blimp will have an automatic landing system and an auto-navigation feature that will allow the pilot to steer the aircraft to landing spots, rather than having to manually maneuver it.
Bizarrely, Goodyear plans to offer an autopilot for the Blimps, which is similar to the autopilot on other commercial aircraft.
The Blimp can also deliver items like food and water to remote destinations, and can fly itself in low- and no-wind conditions, making it useful in areas that are difficult to reach.