The first true consumer drone delivery program in an urban environment is successfully underway in Reykjavik, Iceland, where drone delivery company Flytrex has partnered with AHA, one of Iceland’s largest eCommerce companies.
It’s no surprise that Reykjavik is one of the first cities in the world to adopt drone delivery. The city, now a world-famous tourist destination, is a spread out city divided by the non-navigable Ellioaa river. Because of this geography, driving routes are often indirect and time consuming.
The companies say that drone delivery used to transport goods from one side of the river to another takes only 4 minutes, compared to driving time of 25 minutes to make the same delivery.
“If you look at our city, it’s full of bays and difficult traffic routes, so to deliver from point A to point B, even though it might only be two kilometers by air, it might mean you have to drive for seven kilometers,” said AHA CEO Maron Kristófersson.
In addition to the geography, the city’s population density also makes it an ideal choice for a drone delivery program. Unlike other major cities like New York or London, the city’s population of under 125, 000 and large land area allows for space between houses, eliminating some of the biggest problems of drone delivery in densely populated areas. While regulations have been a major sticking point for widespread adoption of drone delivery in the US and other nations, companies like AMazon also have not established a proven methodology for getting packages the last few feet from the drone to the doorstep in crowded environments.
Flytrex, the company operating the delivery service, does not produce it’s own drone. Instead, the company is using a DJI Matrice 600 fitted with a large delivery box. The Matrice 600 can carry a payload of up to 13 pounds, and will deliver food and other items ordered online from AHA.