A significant step towards the commercialisation of drone delivery has been taken today as the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality opens a route along its shores for a pilot scheme made possible by Airwayz, SkylinX and FlytechIL. As part of the pilot programme, Nespresso will deliver coffee capsules to a targeted group of customers along the route, paving the way for the future of efficient and sustainable last-mile subscription delivery.
“The consumer experience is king at Nespresso,” states Shai Dinur, Director of Customer Care and Services at Nespresso Israel. “I believe drone delivery could really transform the ordering process and our responsiveness, reducing delivery times and really going the extra mile for consumers who love exceptional coffee.”
Promoting solutions for a smart city, the pilot program views drone delivery as a solution to reduce traffic and decrease the carbon footprint of delivery in Tel Aviv, whilst enhancing the consumer experience. The pilot will evaluate drone delivery in an urban environment in terms of safety, noise and privacy considerations and other challenges relating to flying drones in populated areas.
Tel Aviv Mayor, Ron Huldai, welcomes the move, stating: “The future is already here. We are beginning a pilot in Tel Aviv-Jaffa that will test, in a measured and correct way, the ability to use drones commercially in an urban space. We do that in a controlled manner to assess capabilities, but also to find the right balance for free and open urban air routes.”
The route for drone flights runs along the coastline in of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, creating a direct connection between the Reading area in the north and Jaffa Port in the south. Moving over urban areas, popular beaches and a busy port, the pilot scheme provides a suitably challenging route to demonstrate the commercial viability of drone delivery.
Using AI (Artificial Intelligence), Airwayz UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management) provides a pivotal role in the programme, managing multiple fleets of drones from different operators in the airspace at the same time. Drones and other low-flying aircraft are kept safe from collision and the process is optimised to allow drone operators to maximise capacity of the airspace, making deliveries as fast as possible without overcrowding the airspace.
“This pilot program is another crucial step forward in showing that drone delivery not only works, but has huge benefits in easing our overcrowded roads, contributing to sustainable last mile delivery and meeting the superfast demands of today’s consumer,” adds Airwayz CEO, Eyal Zor, “We will also show it to be cost-effective to prove the commercial benefit, but principally, it will be done safely.”
The pilot also sees Airwayz working in partnership with SkylinX, developer and operator of the drone take-off and landing sites, and FlytechIL, piloting the drones. In addition, Flying Cargo, a leading logistics company will be making deliveries, and GettDelivery, a global transport company, will be helping connect the new service to end customers.
Eden Attias, SkylinX Chairman, commented: “Transporting packages with drones will not only decrease traffic, shorten delivery times, save time and fuel and improve customer service, but it will also decrease pollution while being much cheaper. In the not-to-distant future, the field of deliveries will become robotic and the entire process will be without human intervention. We are happy to be one of the companies leading the revolution in Israeli and global markets.”
Airwayz revolutionises airspace, paving the way for scalable multi-drone fleets operations by performing a wide range of commercial applications. With the world’s first AI-based UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management), the AI ׳learns׳ the dynamic urban environment and enables a completely automated system for real-time management of unmanned airspace. Combining the most battle-tested technological and operational team in the world, Airwayz is set to open the skies and unleash the commercial drone era.
SkylinX is one of several start-ups chosen to participate in CityZone, Tel Aviv’s Open Innovation Program, which is an innovative lab and beta site established by Atidim Park Tel Aviv. In collaboration with the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality and the Tel Aviv University, the program has the goal to test, experiment and integrate solutions for urban challenges. SkylinX has undertaken the challenge to develop and operate drone airports in an urban setting.