The development of drone delivery across various industries has seen a steady growth. We have seen how drones have been used for simple tasks such as delivering pizzas, delivering defibrillators to heart attack victims, and delivering essential medical products or forgotten items to specific areas (as seen/mentioned in our SWI, Business of Disruption and Innovation presentations).
With the UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle’s) market set to reach $5.59 billion by 2020, it only makes sense that we would see this trend emerging and being utilised within the food and retail sector. Below are some examples of companies that have literally taken to the skies with drone delivery.
7-Eleven’s convenience drones.
7-Eleven has successfully made seventy plus commercial drone deliveries of hot/cold food and over- the-counter medication to customers in the state of Nevada, USA. This delivery was done in partnership with Flirtey, a leading drone delivery company. Flirtey was responsible for the first FAA approved urban commercial drone delivery in the states. Orders were placed via the customer app and the deliveries were made within ten minutes.
La Mar’s doughnut drone delivery
Following in the footsteps of 7-Eleven, LaMar’s Donuts and Drone Dispatch, utilised National Doughnut Day (2 June 2017 – USA) as an opportunity to deliver doughnuts to Denver’s Mayor – Michael Hancock, Denver police, Denver firefighters and the 16th Street Mall. They hope that this initiative has given the citizens of Denver a glimpse of the near future and to experiment with a trend that they see is gaining traction globally.
Foodora’s future of food delivery experience
Berlin based food delivery service, Foodora and digital innovation consultancy, IE Digital joined forces by using drones to deliver food to retail brands (Forever New, Jetstar, Toyota, Myer, Amcal, Sussan Group, and The Body Shop etc), to start a conversation about the role and place of drone delivery within the retail industry; especially the future of food delivery.
Rakuten’s Sora Raku
Japanese online retailer, Rakuten, has launched Sora Raku, a drone delivery service for its customers. The test phase of this offering was conducted on a golf course. Ratuken customers used the app to order refreshments and golf balls, which the drone delivered to the golf course. The drone used is named “Tenku,” and was developed specially for Rakuten by ACSL (Autonomous Control Systems Laboratory Ltd.). It has also been used to delivery vegetables and flowers to mothers on Mother’s Day.
In light of the above examples, and other movements within the drone economy, it is only a matter of time before drone delivery becomes the widely accepted way of receiving and delivering goods.
By: Tumelo Mojapelo
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