It’s expansion time for A2Z Drone Delivery, an American drone company that started as a project at Brown University. When it went from school project to actual company, it first operated out of Mar Vista, a wealthy neighborhood on the west side of Los Angeles. But the company is growing, and to gain more space it opened a new headquarters this winter not far away — in Torrance, California.
Torrance is a compelling choice, as it has a strong aerospace economy. Robinson Helicopters are designed and built in Torrance, as are the headquarters of aerospace fastener maker Alcoa Fastening Systems (now known as Arconic). It’s also less than 10 miles from the city of El Segundo, California, which is home to the headquarters of Lockheed Martin. Outside of aerospace, Torrance is also home to the U.S. headquarters of Japanese automaker American Honda Motor Company and its luxury vehicle division, Acura.
“Planting our headquarters in the aerospace capital of the world ensures we have ready access to the highest quality aerospace talent and suppliers, and are able to continue the supportive relationships we have enjoyed with local government entities,” said Aaron Zhang, CEO and Co-Founder of A2Z Drone Delivery. “From Torrance, we are able to provide in-person support for our customers, and have ready access to nearby flight test areas for flight trials and customer training.”
And the Torrance expansion isn’t all for the company, which builds drones designed to execute deliveries. A2Z Drone Delivery also recently expanded its test facility in Anji County, which is located just outside Shanghai, China.
The Torrance headquarters will primarily serve as the company’s base for research and development, product and software design, global sales and marketing, as well as customer training and support. The Shanghai test facility is where company engineers will conduct advanced autonomous BVLOS trials under real-life conditions (including actual deliveries for resident in what’s a rural area).
The drones are manufactured overseas, but the company would not comment specifically as to where.
What to know about A2Z Drone Delivery
A2Z’s initially product was simply a winch, which it launched in 2019 as a mechanism that mounted on drones made by other companies. These days, though, the company is more focused on its own fleet of ready-to-fly, off-the-shelf commercial logistics drones.
That lineup includes the company’s long-range RDSX Pelican hybrid VTOL delivery drone, as well as the recently-released medium range RDST Longtail integrated delivery drone. Those two products — as well as the initial winch — allow teams using drones for deliveries to keep their drones at a high altitude across the entire delivery process (and thus away from people), which is generally considered a safety feature (largely because recipients stay away from spinning UAV propellers).