The Israeli company plans to be the FedEx of the drone delivery world, with a system enabling customers to operate an entire fleet of drones remotely.
As reported in Israel21C:
Delivery by small pilot-less aircraft from the store to your door is coming soon. Amazon is experimenting with it in the United States and Britain right now. Postal services in Europe are running tests, too. Civil aviation authorities in Africa are amending their regulations to make flying over urban environments safe.
The missing piece: automating the entire system so that each drone doesn’t need to be manually operated without knowledge of what else is in the sky. That’s where Israeli startup Flytrex comes in.
Flytrex wants to be the FedEx of the drone-delivery world. Just as FedEx doesn’t manufacture trucks or planes but provides the software and human infrastructure to make the most of existing tools, Flytrex has created a cloud-based back-end that allows its customers to operate drones remotely.
Flytrex’s software is about more than being able to set pick-up and delivery points. All kinds of data – information about the weather, topography and other drones in the air – can be sent from the cloud to a drone in real time.
“It’s one thing to design a nice drone to deliver goods, but it’s much more complicated to take charge of the whole system,” Flytrex CEO Yariv Bash tells ISRAEL21c.
Flytrex recently announced a pilot program with UkrPoshta, the Ukrainian Postal Service. Drones controlled by Flytrex software will deliver packages weighting up to 3 kilograms as far as 23 kilometers round-trip at speeds of up to 70 kilometers per hour. Flytrex estimates that delivery will take less than half an hour from approval to the package arriving at the pickup point.
Flytrex is also working with a pharmaceutical company in Africa to deliver drugs to users in hard-to-access locations. A Latin American bank has expressed interest in sending documents and credit cards between branches via drone.
“For each project, we assess the situation and tailor the solution,” Bash says.
While Flytrex doesn’t have any paying customers yet, Bash expects to announce the company’s first deployed system in the third quarter of 2017.
Australia Post started trialling drone delivery in 2016 and a number of its clients, such as online retailers Catch of the Day and The Iconic, are also interested in participating in drone delivery customer trials.