The reality of sushi, ice cream and medicine deliveries by drones moved a step closer on Monday, as Israel’s National Drone Initiative launched its third phase.
Flying over residential areas in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Ramat Hasharon, Herzliya and Hadera, the pilot program conducted the third stage of eight tests it will run as it moves forward with its mission to create a national drone network.
Over the course of the test, drones operated by the five companies participating in the program will carry out around 300 flights per day above open areas, conducting different kinds of tasks on flight paths assigned by the joint control system.
Among the challenges, drones operated by Cando and High-Lander will bring sushi deliveries ordered by customers via a dedicated app and will deliver them to Tzuk Beach in Herzliya. The companies will also have a drone performing autonomous security missions for an emergency facility (Reading Fire Station) so that the drone located at the charging station is activated autonomously.
In addition, SkyLinx and FlyTech will conduct a pilot program in which customers will be able to enter their order via a dedicated app and receive their ice cream via drones at Charles Clore Park (next to the Manta Ray restaurant).
All participating companies, including Simplex and DownWind, will perform flights over urban areas in the center of Tel Aviv. HarTech Technologies Ltd. and Airwayz will perform flights over the Hadera urban area.
Flights will also deliver donated blood, platelets and plasma from the Magen David Adom blood bank to Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, with the goal of verifying the method of packaging, flying and procedures so that they meet Health Ministry regulations.
At this stage, the goal is to consolidate the procedures so that other companies will be able to offer similar services at every blood bank and hospital in Israel when required.
Tens of thousands of sorties will take place in the skies above Israel over the course of a two-year project, all controlled centrally by the Ayalon Highway Air Traffic Control Center. During this week’s tests, a flight transport will also take place in Brazil, controlled by the management system in Israel.
The National Drone Initiative is working toward creating a national network of air corridors for UAV deliveries of medicine, medical examinations and equipment, e-commerce and more.
At this center, one can view the management and supervision system for airborne drones flying in the area, preparing for a future situation where dozens or even hundreds of drones fly across the skies on various missions, operating in a uniform airspace. The system will be able to prioritize the various drone flights and clear the airspace when a large aircraft enters or when one of the aircrafts operated by the emergency-services organizations enters in the event of an emergency.
The initiative, which originated via collaboration between the Israel Innovation Authority, the Transportation Ministry (through the Ayalon Highways Co.), the Civil Aviation Authority and the Smart Transportation Authority, is conducting a series of increasingly more complicated technological missions with the aim of building the experience and know-how to deploy a centrally organized drone network.
The project was established with the goal of advancing the deployment of drones for the benefit of the public, in order to assist in reducing congestion on the roads and to establish a national aerial network, managed for the benefit of transporting medicines, vaccines, tests and medical equipment, as well as retail shipments and more.
The project was established with the goal of advancing the deployment of drones for the benefit of the public to assist in reducing congestion on the roads and to establish a national aerial network, managed for the benefit of transporting medicines, vaccines, tests and medical equipment, as well as retail shipments and more.
“The National Drone Initiative is reaching new heights on its way to deployment in Central Israel – Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Ramat Hasharon, Herzliya and Hadera – and is on its way to creating a globally leading ecosystem in this field,” Israel Innovation Authority CEO Dror Bin said. “In the framework of the third demonstration, in which 16 Israeli companies and international representatives will participate, there will be a number of simultaneous flights in Israel and Brazil.
“Within the framework of the demonstration, there will be cargo delivery flights by commercial firms in different areas directly to the end consumer. Such unique collaboration between the Innovation Authority, the Civil Aviation Authority and Ayalon Highways is a catalyst for additional public entities, including IDF Home Front Command, Magen David Adom, United Hatzalah emergency services and other commercial entities to benefit from the extraordinary capabilities demonstrated in this pilot.”