Restaurants and other delivery platforms for medicines, groceries etc. will soon be able to deliver orders via drones in a contactless way amid the pandemic. The test runs for the operation of drones have already started in controlled environments. The government has permitted 20 entities, including Dunzo, Swiggy and SpiceJet to operate experimental drone flights. On the establishment of the system after successful experimental runs, drones can come to play to deliver meals, medicines, COVID jabs and more.
Drones To Become The Game Changer Of Delivery Operations Soon; Test Runs Have Started
According to a Times of India report, a senior executive of a food delivery company stated, “This could be a hub-and-spoke model that will help cut down delivery times drastically… For instance, if the route is long, drones could be used to ferry the medicines or food to a central location from where delivery executives can collect them.” He added that last-mile delivery can be still challenging in India due to the absence of clear landing zones on rooftops and blockings by power lines. The test runs for drone operations have begun in controlled environments. India is gearing up for drone flights ‘beyond visual line of sight’ (BVLOS), which means flying the drones at distances beyond the normal visible range of the operator.
DGCA Had Approved 13 Start-Ups To Test-Fly Drones
A year ago, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had mulled over starting the concept of aerial delivery in India. It had approved 13 startups to test-fly drones beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) for delivering items. Few companies that got the nods for drone testing were Zomato, Swiggy, Dunzo, Throttle, SpiceJet and Asteria Aerospace. The aim has been to develop local-drone based services within the country. This, in turn, will reduce the dependency of the growing startup ecosystem on imported technology. In 2019 June, Zomato had successfully completed a test delivery in India using drones. The drone had covered a distance of about five kilometres in just 10 minutes, carrying a load of nearly five kgs. The speed of the drone was around 80 kmph.
How Can Drone Delivery Be Effective?
As per reports, scaling up delivery operations through drones will facilitate the timely transfer of best quality essential commodities to the remote zones of the country like the rural and hilly areas. Delivery through drones might assist the food delivery companies in recovering from the losses. Drones will not only make the delivery processes faster, but they will also ensure contactless delivery. Delivering food through drones will also reduce the chances of food theft and bring cost-effectiveness for the startups.
While drones can prove to be an excellent alternative to door-to-door delivery processes, there can be a few related challenges as well. According to a report, drone theft and drone damages can be major challenges when it comes to aerial delivery in India. Startups need to take into consideration the associated costs in such cases. No matter what, the approval of drone delivery in India can make our lives far more easier than what it is now!