Food tech platform Zomato tested a hybrid drone to experiment delivery of food items using unmanned aerial vehicles. Developed by TechEagle Innovations, which was acquired by Zomato last year, the drone was able to cover a distance of 5 km, in about ten minutes, at a peak speed of 80 km per hour, carrying a payload of 5kg.
What are the prevalent rules for delivery via drones?
Currently, while regulations prohibit payload carriage on drones along with disallowing drone operations outside visual line of sight, the government, while announcing the rules for unmanned aerial vehicles in August last year, had said that the norms will be evolved with time as and when companies are able to exhibit newer technologies. To this extent, Zomato said it is forming a consortium to carry out experimental operations of drones beyond line of sight, in accordance with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) programme for conducting such trials.
Which other companies are working on drone-based delivery tech?
Food platforms and e-commerce companies are said to be the earliest adopters of drone-based delivery technology. Globally, online retail major Amazon expects to begin delivery of items using drones in the coming months at some locations. UberEats, the ridesharing company’s food delivery platform, also plans to begin delivery of food using remotely piloted aircraft system.