Business to Business E-commerce startup Udaan (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) and Throttle Aerospace systems have completed their trial run for Drone delivery of Medicine.
The trial run of the Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone for delivery of drugs was completed in the city of Bengaluru on Friday.
The drone pilot was led by Throttle Aerospace Systems and Udaan, under the supervision of the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
Udaan conducted the trial run in Gauribidanur in the outskirts of Bengaluru within a 15- kilometre radius for the last mile delivery of medicines.
Product engineer of Udaan, Soumyadeep Mukherjee, said, “The authorities’ efforts to integrate drones in the supply-chain ecosystem is a significant step towards creating a framework for an efficient last-mile delivery.”
The successful drone delivery of medicines of the trial run opens up a significant opportunity to change the customer experience in the distribution and logistics industry.
Soumyadeep Mukherjee also added that the trial run is aligned with their vision to build tech-enabled solutions that will empower small businesses such as kiranas, shop owners, chemists, and MSMEs based in the remote corners of Bharat.
All about the Trial Run
Two different variants of drones, the Medcopter X4 and Medcopter X8–were successfully tested with simulated deliveries to Udaan customers during the pilot.
Pharma Deliveries with a payload of up to 2 kilograms were tested at various distances in the designated area, varying from 2-7 kilometres aerial distance. An average length of 3.5 km was covered in 5-7 minutes, as observed in the pilot deliveries.
Two different modes of deliveries were also tested: the tethered lowering of shipment and landing of copter with the load.
The success of the pilot run opens up doors to the possibility of using Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drones for the last-mile delivery of shipments like medicines in minimum time.
Shipments can be easily transported to areas with improper road connectivity, and it can also facilitate faster deliveries in dense urban settings.
Aside from regular deliveries in remote areas, once the technology is commercialized, it can also be used to supply life-saving medicines at the time of natural disasters, epidemics, and natural calamities to the most remote corners of India without facing any infrastructure or logistical challenges.
The trial conducted by Throttle Aerospace Systems and Udaan is a testimony of their commitment to build a world-class supply chain to ensure medicines and essentials can easily reach every corner of India.
Similar Technological efforts in India
E-commerce giant Flipkart in June this year, partnered with the Telangana government under the ‘Medicines from the Sky’ project to lead a consortium tasked with the development and execution of the drone deliveries of medical supplies to remote areas.
The pilot was tested out in Hyderabad for delivering thousands of Covid-19 vaccines while keeping in mind all the safety and efficiency parameters.
Under the Medicine from the Sky Project, Dunzo Digital, a Google-backed delivery and e-commerce firm, also led a Med-Air consortium and industry experts to conduct experimental Below Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone delivery flights.
The aim was to help improve access to healthcare during the Covid-19 pandemic. Leading delivery drone startup, TechEagle also got official approvals to deliver vaccines and medicines supply in the State of Telangana using drones in June this year.
The work is being carried out with the collaboration of the Government of Telangana, the NITI Aayog, and the World Economic Forum.
The company aims to strengthen the healthcare ecosystem with on-demand and rapid delivery of medicines and vaccines.