Innovation That Matters

Is drone delivery coming to a city near you? | Photo source Speedbird Aero

Hybrid food delivery that utilises drones

Food & Drink

Rather than deliver food directly to the customers’ door, drones will fly the food to a central location and drivers will cover the “last mile”

Spotted: Latin American-based food delivery service, iFood, is set to begin drone delivery in Brazil. The country’s National Civil Aviation Agency has granted full regulatory approval for the company to operate two routes in the city of Caminas. The city was chosen because it is close to iFood headquarters in Osasco, and where the company does a large amount of business.

To supply the drones and delivery technology, iFood has partnered with French drone company Speedbird Aero. The delivery drone weighs 9 kg and can transport up to 2 kg over a distance of up to 2.5 km from the takeoff point, at a height of 120 meters. The development of the equipment and technology took place in France by a team of four engineers. 

Rather than deliver food directly to the customers’ door, the system will use the drones to fly the food from a food court in the Igautemi Campinas shopping centre, to a hub around 400 m away. From there, drivers will pick the food up and cover the “last mile”. This hybrid approach will allow iFood to maximise the efficiency of the drones, which can deliver food to the hub in around 2 minutes.

According to Speedbird’s co-founder, Samuel Salomão, the company located in Franca developed the drone and delivery technology and waited just over a year for ANAC certification. “It was developed in Brazil, by Brazilian engineers, under the guidance of specialists in aeronautical regulation, with a 100% automated system and focused on the transport of light loads”, he says.

Drone deliveries have been receiving regulatory approval in markets around the world. At Springwise, we have reported on retail deliveries in Canberra and a proposal to deliver coffee by drone. If drone deliveries could be combined with a last mile delivery by electric vehicle, it could eventually end up drastically reducing both congestion and emissions.

Written By: Lisa Magloff

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