Based in Iceland, Aha, known as the largest online marketplace has partnered with Flytrex, the Israeli drone company, to use drones to deliver its products to two parts of the city of Reykjavik. The residents of that area will now be able to have their food, including sushi, beer, hamburgers, etc. delivered to their doorsteps.
Initially, Aha would drive their customers’ ordered goods around a large bay before being able to reach to Reykjavik. With the help of the drones from Flytrex, Aha now uses only a single route over the bay to deliver its goods. This new delivery system is more efficient than taking the usual path which is time-consuming for both the company and its customers.
Using Drones for eCommerce Deliveries
Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles that are operated using a remote control or by onboard computers. Drones are considered to be one of the most convenient ways to transport or travel to areas that are deemed to be dangerous or difficult for humans. Their use has rapidly expanded to various social, commercial, surveillance, recreational and scientific fields. Using drones to deliver packages is not only cheaper but also faster and a revolutionary move for the world in which we live. Experts believe that using drones to deliver orders could boost the growth and development of eCommerce delivery companies to a completely different level.
How Does The Drone Delivery System Work?
All of the drones stay in a drone hub and when clients order goods, for example, a takeout, an employee from Aha will launch it at a drone hub located near the restaurant. Another employee will be waiting at a second hub which is based near the customer and will have it delivered by bike or on foot to the latter.
Drones can quickly travel and carry parcels weighing up to six pounds. A drone can cover the distance that a car would normally travel in 25 minutes (in heavy traffic) in just 4 minutes. Yariv Bash, the company Chief Executive Officer has said in his interview that “Flytrex’s drones will fly more than 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles) across a large bay that separates two parts of the city”. Just imagine how much money and time a business can save if they invested in drones for their delivery services! Although eCommerce companies are currently testing for the delivery of one good at a time, multiple deliveries can also be done.
Maron Kristófersson, Aha’s CEO further adds that “in the recent months there has been a tremendous increase in our online delivery orders, especially in the retail products and we are forecasting a very expedited growth in the grocery deliveries in the coming months. Over the last 4 years we have been monitoring online delivery solution technologies around the globe, and feel that Flytrex has a smart, safe and commercially viable solution to the problem. We hope to co-operate with them not only in Iceland, but also internationally in the future”.
Aha’s Permanent Drone Delivery Service
Although there are still rules and legal issues surrounding the use of drones for deliveries which have put their use in practice on hold, eCommerce companies are still keen on testing the opportunity of drones and the potential they carry. For Aha, the Icelandic online marketplace, using drones for their delivery purposes isn’t a trial or temporary pilot project. Flytrex and Aha are certified and have received their regulatory approvals from the Icelandic Transport Authority to “deliver food and consumer products from shops and restaurants to customers in Reykjavik”
The use of drones is an important investment for Aha, which would help the company save up to 60 percent of their total delivery costs to Reykjavik. Aha serves over 8,000 customers in that area and their drones are able to carry out 10 deliveries and more in the coming weeks.
The Partnership of Aha and Flytrex
Flytrex isn’t a manufacturer of drones. In fact, they are committed to refining the way they operate and customizing their purpose to meet the companies’ needs. Kristófersson believes that this partnership will “help local stores to compete with eCommerce stores”. This new delivery system will allow consumers to get almost anything they desire within 60 minutes as from the time they order.
For Maron, working with Flytrex on the drone front is an exciting and adventurous project. He says that “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.” This alliance is mutually benefiting to Aha when it comes to expanding its services and customer list. He adds that “right now there are more drone assemblers than there are car manufacturers 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.”
The future of The Drone
Aha hopes that they can soon deliver customer orders using drones that are outfitted with wires so that deliveries can be done directly into their backyards. Until the official launch date is set, Aha and Flytrex are trying to educate the public on the safety of drones as it is a new and one-of-a-kind service for the world.
However, experimenting with drones also mean that one has to take into consideration the weather conditions of Iceland as it will have a considerable effect on the way they operate. Although drones can fly against very strong winds, operators of this equipment will have to choose their landing areas carefully. According to Maron, “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”.
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