Zomato tests drone technology to reduce delivery time
One of India’s largest food delivery service, Zomato has figured out a faster way to deliver food to the customers’ doorstep. On Wednesday, the company announced that they successfully tested its maiden drone delivery tech. The test was conducted using a hybrid drone, with a fusion of fixed wings and rotatory wings on a single drone. The drone was seamlessly able to cover a distance of 5km in about 10 min at a speed of 80kmpH carrying a payload of 5 kgs.
Zomato told IANS, “The drone was tested last week at one of the remote sites approved by the DGCA. Such tests are done at very remote sites which are especially designed to conduct such tests,”
Last month Director General of Civil Aviation issued a statement that interested stakeholders can express their interest in experimental use of drones that travel beyond the visual line of sight.
According to the company the final design of the drone is lightweight and each drone is currently being tested with a (remote) pilot supervision to ensure safety. Till the company collects more data the drones are to be operated under pilot supervision only.
Deepinder Goyal, Founder & CEO, Zomato said “The only possible way to reduce the average 30.5 minutes to 15 minutes is to take the aerial route – roads are not efficient for very fast delivery. We have been working towards building sustainable and safe delivery technology and with our first successful test, food delivery by drones is no longer just a pipe dream. While regulatory hurdles are not trivial, and the government’s concerns need to be looked at from various (valid) points of view, the tech is ready to fly and I am confident that drone delivery will be commonplace sooner rather than later,”.
In the first duplication of food delivery via drones, they will pick up the food package from a dispatched station around a cluster of restaurants and land at the station near to dense communities. Then it will come back to the dispatch site using different fight modes.
A Lucknow based drone start-up, TechEagle was acquired by Zomato to solve the issues such as reducing pollution and handling traffic, in the end of 2018. Currently the average time to deliver a food on bike is 30 minutes. But using drones can be a huge benefit as it would help remove unnecessary traffics on the roads.