Swiggy aims to put the long-range proficiencies of drone technology to best use and accomplish some ground-breaking trials.
Food delivery platform Swiggy and integrated airspace management firm ANRA Technologies Private Limited recently announced that stakeholders from the Ministry of Defence, Directorate General of Civil Aviation, and Ministry of Civil Aviation, have awarded final clearances to commence trials for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone deliveries in India.
After months of planning, risk assessments, air traffic control integration, training, equipment preparation, and coordination, ANRA’s flight team launched its first sortie on June 16, 2021. For the next several weeks, the flight team will conduct BVLOS food and medical package deliveries in the Etah (Uttar Pradesh) and Rupnagar (Punjab) districts.
ANRA was approved by the Government of India to lead two consortia as part of this initiative. One consortium consists of ANRA, along with their partners Swiggy, Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar, and BetterDrones, a drone service provider which will focus on food delivery. The second consortium includes ANRA and Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar, and will focus on medical deliveries.
Shilpa Gnaneshwar, Principal Program Manager, Swiggy said that as a pioneer in investing in technology and logistics with a dedicated delivery fleet, Swiggy has built a robust presence in hyperlocal delivery moving beyond food to offer convenience to consumers. “With an increasing number of technological innovations taking place 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. We are excited about the potential that Drones offer and look forward to the trials on BVLOS operations for the use case of food delivery,” she added.
ANRA Technologies and its partners intend to leverage gathered data and key learnings from the flights to support the development of India’s nationwide operational UAS Traffic Management (UTM) platform called Digital Sky. The outcomes will enable industry, government, and regulatory stakeholders to determine the necessity to support interaction and data exchange between UTM services suppliers while assessing the suitability and applicability of existing technology capabilities.
Additionally, the consortia will seek to understand any trade-offs between interoperability and open implementations and specific technical integration requirements for functionality. India is looking at the operations to fast-track its policies and prepare the local industry for a significant push into the drone services segment globally.
“ANRA’s deep roots in India and my personal family ties make me especially proud to have contributed to this historic moment for India, government stakeholders, and our partners. Knowing our technology may soon help deliver food and medical packages to underserved populations are what motivates and unifies our team,” said Amit Ganjoo, Founder and CEO of ANRA.