Zomato, the restaurant search and discovery service, has successfully tested its drone tech.
It confirmed it managed to meet all parameters and was able to cover a distance of 5km in 10 minutes.
With a top speed of 80kmh carrying a payload of 5kg, the firm used a hybrid drone which saw a fusion of rotary and fixed wing technology.
As part of the announcement, the firm detailed how drones could deliver food in their first iteration.
A drone will pick up the food package from a restaurant hub and then drop the package at a customer hub, a landing station close to dense communities.
It would then go back to the dispatch site using a mix of different and appropriate flight modes.
For the uninitiated, a drone takes off vertically like a helicopter, then transits to an airplane mode to cover the distance and switches back to helicopter mode for vertical landing without requiring any airstrip.
The drone is lightweight and contains inbuilt sensors and an onboard computer to sense and avoid static and dynamic objects.
It is fully automated but each drone is currently being tested with remote pilot supervision in an attempt to ensure 100% safety.
Deepinder Goyal, founder of the firm, wrote: “In recent years, we have witnessed the inevitable rapid urbanisation in many areas, leading to an increase in pollution and congestion on roads. Using drones for delivery would be a big game changer for metros as the idea is to scrape unnecessary traffic off the roads and direct it skyward. Plus, there is less chance of the package being damaged during transit and handling.”
He added: “Food delivery by drones is no longer just a pipe dream. It’s almost here. Regulatory hurdles are not trivial, and the government’s concerns need to be looked at from various (valid) points of view. Having said that, the tech is ready to fly and I am confident that drone delivery will be commonplace sooner rather than later.”