Iceland Beats US Retailers To Punch On Drone Service

Like the glut of bean counters laboring over how many hits their websites get, Wal-Mart and Amazon were caught with their proverbial pants down when it comes to innovation, in this case, drone delivery. Iceland is laying claim to offering the world's first drone delivery services. The population of places like Reykjavik will receive deliveries of food and other retail goods to their homes and businesses via autonomous flying vehicles.


Drone company Flytrex is partnering with AHA, one of Iceland’s larger ecommerce companies, to fly deliveries over one of Reykjavik’s wide waterways to reduce common delivery times. Yariv Bash, chief executive and co-founder of Flytrex says, “We're making delivery as instant as ordering.”  


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A DJI Matrice 600 is the drone of choice for the service. It can carry packages weighing up to 13 lbs. and travel at speeds up to 40 mph. The partnering companies will send out approximately 20 deliveries per day for starts and they plan to expand deliveries over multiple routes across Reykjavík by the end of this year. The drones will deliver straight to people’s yards or doorsteps without landing. Deliveries will be lowered to the ground using a wire.


Although in the early stages, AHA has seen a 60% reduction in delivery costs compared to traditional land and sea methods. This follows regulatory approval from the Icelandic Transport Authority, which claims the service will also improve road safety.  

Then there are the inevitable critics and calamity callers that argue such services could be dangerous and pose threats to privacy and security. However, safety and security issues, real, potential, or imaginary, have never stood in the way cutting business costs and, of course, huge profits. ~MD


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