Drones Helping Improve Efficiency of Food Deliveries in Iceland

Icelanders can now get small orders like takeout food delivered by drones.
Photo: Flytrex / YouTube.

Aha, one of Iceland’s largest eCommerce companies, has partnered with Israeli tech firm Flytrex to expand its delivery bandwidth and find new, efficient ways to deliver goods to customers around the city of Reykjavik, Iceland.

Using Flytrex’s drone delivery system, Aha is now delivering goods between two parts of the city that are separated by a wide river, dramatically cutting delivery times and costs. Flytrex’s system operates alongside Aha’s existing vehicle-based delivery network, increasing its daily deliveries capacity, without increasing manpower.

Flytrex recently started delivering small orders like takeout food by drone in the partnership with Aha, Iceland’s largest instant delivery platform. The hexacopters have been approved by the Icelandic Transport Authority to pick up orders from restaurants and stores on one side of Reykjavik and fly them to a drop-off point in the suburb of Grafarvogur. The drones cut delivery times by flying across the water to a truck that will complete the delivery, according to Flytrex.

Since drivers often need to navigate around the shoreline, and drones can just fly over the water, these locations in Iceland have proven to be a good place to test the capabilities of drone deliveries. Deliveries that would take normally take 25 minutes by car in Reykjavik can be completed by a Flytrex drone in just four minutes, the company claims.

The drones can handle packages that weigh up to 3 kilograms. Because of this, small delivery items like food orders and even flowers have become common with drone deliveries by various companies.

Using some of the same navigation technology, pizza deliveries are being tested by using driverless cars. The Domino’s pizza chain in the United States recently announced plans to start testing deliveries using a self-driving Ford Fusion sedan outfitted with enough sensors, electronics and software to find its way to customers’ homes or offices in parts of Michigan.

In Reykjavik, backyard deliveries are possible because much of the city is suburban. Flytrex’s drones use smart mapping to adapt to other environments and operate at about 50 meters in the air, which means they can clear most obstacles, according to the company. Flytrex also is working on a project in an area with several high-rise buildings and the Israeli firm is currently seeking approval from regulators in European, South American and Central American countries.

So, whether it’s food, flowers or a new phone, delivering products now can be as instant as ordering with the help of this technology.