It’s a plane…it’s a bird…actually, it’s flying hamburgers. Drone delivery is making its way to Iceland, making it the first of its kind in the world. Goods can now be ordered online and delivered at a much faster rate than by traditional delivery trucks, which can take more time due to traffic gridlocks or long travel routes.
The on-demand drone delivery service in Iceland is an innovation of Flytrex, an Israeli drone engineering company that has spent years perfecting the mechanics of drones. Partnered with AHA, an Icelandic based eCommerce company, the innovative delivery service works by using a hexacopter to deliver merchandise across large bays.
Flytrex doesn’t make drones; instead they are dedicated to refining the system of how they operate. CEO of AHA, Maron Kristófersson claims the goal of their partnership with Flytrex is to help local stores compete with eCommerce stores. With this technology, you can get anything from local stores within 60 minutes or less. This creates faster service from local shops.
A perfect pair
Maron explains, “We are working with [Flytrex] on the drone front. There are a lot of companies doing deliveries by drones, but Flytrex took a very different approach than the others, in the sense that they are not focused on building a drone; instead they focus on aviation safety and the system to control automated flight of drones.” There are many factors to consider with this implementation, weather conditions being a key concern in Iceland. There is a lot to learn about Icelandic weather and this has a considerable affect on how drones operate. Currently, the drones can handle very strong winds except on the landing spots—they need to chose their landing locations in carefully shielded areas—which presents a kink to resolve.. “We have weather stations at both locations, we use wind meters and we test weather conditions all around the city to learn about various spots,” says Maron. However, once the drones are flying, they can handle a substantial amount of high wind, so the cargo is secure when in flight.
Flytrex is open to providing drone delivery to any commercial business that wants to expand its services. For AHA, this alliance made sense. “Flytrex will always be first in creating a commercially viable solution,” Maron says. “Right now there are more drone assemblers than there are car manufactures in the world. They aren’t concerned about what type of drone you use, as long as it’s a good drone and it’s compatible with their system.” Co-founder of Flytrex, Amit Regev, claims the company has had a welcoming experience in Iceland and he is pleased to collaborate with businesses to deliver new technology around the globe.
Good things come to those who wait
As there is no set date for the official launch as of yet. First, AHA and Flytrex aim to educate the public on the safety of the drones and make sure there is absolutely no risk, as this is one of the first services of its kind in the world. Maron hopes within a year, drone delivery can be fully up and running for the general public. According to Maron, everyone is excited to see the drones in action, but after the initial awe, it quickly becomes the norm. “People have no patience to see a drone land five or six times,” he says. “Once they see it, that box is ticked and they move on to see something else.” Drone delivery is a new and fascinating concept, but like many innovative inventions and ideas, it could just turn into yet another way we think about how to shop.