Thursday, June 04, 2020

DGCA allows Zomato, Swiggy, Dunzo to start testing drone deliveries for food

It came as a welcome move when the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) gave permission to food delivery startups such as Zomato, Swiggy and Dunzo to test-fly long-range drones. These companies have got the permission to start testing drones beyond the visual line of sight. It is expected that this move may make an impact on how food is delivered in India.

Aviation experts have termed it as a landmark decision that may speed up the overall food delivery process in India. "We have been working on powering delivery via drones for some time now and welcome this move from DGCA to test our systems. We are excited to build the future of aerial food delivery in India,” Zomato spokesperson said.

Experts feel that food delivery by drones though revolutionary will also come with a bunch of challenges.

“It is probably the first time that any Indian regulatory body and the ministry has promoted the approach of deriving the technicalities of regulation by conducting detailed experiments. Regulators in countries such as the US are habitual of taking such an approach as they have been leading the development of regulation for such emerging technologies. This time India is getting in the league of front runners in creating an ecosystem for emerging technology,” Vipul Singh, co-founder and CEO, AUS -Aarav Unmanned Systems.

Besides being a landmark step, this move is expected to provide a promising platform for indigenous tech startups to innovate, solve, and develop hi tech drones that can be used for different applications in India. At the same time it can also create a roadmap that will allow this emerging start up ecosystem to decrease dependence on imported technology and create indigenous Intellectual Property (IP).
“Scaling up delivery operations based on technical maturity will ensure massive penetration of best quality essential commodities in the rural economy and locations in hilly areas in India which generally get deprived of timely availability of life saving and essential commodities,” added Singh.
04/05/20 Abhinav Singh/The Week

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