Explained: India Post’s pilot run brings it even closer to drone delivery
In what potentially sets the stage for postal drone delivery, Gurugram-based drone startup TechEagle successfully delivered a parcel this week to Gujarat as part of a pilot project in conjunction with India Post.
What was the delivery?
The drone flight delivered a package in the Kutch region of Gujarat, covering a distance of 46 km in less than 30 minutes. In a statement, TechEagle said it was five times faster than surface transport speed. Notably, the drone delivery was among the longest single delivery flights performed by a drone in the country. It traveled when the wind speed reached 30 km/h.
What drone did TechEagle use?
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Last month, the company launched a hybrid electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drone called “VertiplaneX3” with a payload capacity of 3 kg, a range of 100 km and a top speed of 120 km/h. The VTOL drone has the ability to take off and land vertically like a helicopter from a small area of 5mx5m.
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What was the objective of the pilot project?
Anshu Abhishek, co-founder-COO at TechEagle, said the project aims to enable faster deliveries across the country, whether in urban cities or any rural village. “Lessons learned from the project would help stakeholders scale up and commercialize drone mail delivery across the country,” he added.
Are there other drone delivery trials underway across the country?
Yes, Bengaluru-based logistics and delivery platform Swiggy started deploying drones on a trial basis last month to make deliveries from its Instamart grocery service. For these trials, which are taking place in two phases, the company has used four “drone as a service” operators, of which TechEagle is one. Several other drone operators have partnered with state governments and other authorities to conduct trial drone deliveries of vaccines and medical supplies. Logistics services company Delhivery announced in December the acquisition of California-based Transition Robotics, which develops drone platforms. Globally, Wing, the drone delivery unit of internet giant Alphabet, recently delivered its first shipment to a major U.S. metropolitan area by delivering boxes of medicine from Walgreens in Dallas, Utah. Texas.