Swiggy may soon deliver food using drones, with trials to begin for both food and medical packages. Swiggy's drone delivery partner, ANRA Technologies, has got final clearances from Ministry of Defence (MoD), Directorate General of Aviation (DGCA), and Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) to commence drone trials for delivering food. ANRA Technologies has got the clearances for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations. After a lot of planning, air traffic control integration, and readying equipment, ANRA launched its first sortie on June 16. For the next several weeks, the ANRA team will conduct BVLOS food and medical package delivery trials in Etah and Rupnagar districts, in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, respectively.
Apart from partnering Swiggy for food delivery, the integrated airspace management firm is also engaged in another similar project. For that, it has partnered with the Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar, and will focus on medical deliveries.
Shilpa Gnaneshwar, principal program manager of Swiggy, said that through this project the company aims to “put the long-range proficiencies of drone technology to best use”. Gnaneshwar added, “To smoothen and fasten the last mile journey, it only becomes natural for us to explore the latest avenues available to maximise the benefit to our consumers.”
Amit Ganjoo, the founder and CEO of ANRA said that the motivating factor for him and his team comes from knowing the fact that “our technology may soon help deliver food and medical packages to underserved populations”.
In a test flight video, the ANRA team showed how the deliveries are likely to happen. A drone is seen in the almost 3-minute video picking a small food package, flying out to a certain distance before returning to the ground and delivering the package.
A few weeks ago, Dunzo, the Google-backed delivery start-up, had announced that it was set to pilot drone delivery of medicines under the ‘Medicine from the Sky' project launched by the Telangana government in collaboration with the World Economic Forum. The project is aimed to enable emergency medical deliveries that could include COVID-19 vaccines and other essentials.
Dunzo is amongst the entities that were recently allowed by the central government to Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) experimental flights using drones.