Goods carried across Tel Aviv’s sky as Israel approaches commercial drones

Dozens of drones floated in Tel Aviv, carrying ice cream and sushi cartons around the city, and experimented with authorities hoping to get a glimpse into the not-so-distant future.

Israel’s National Drone Initiative, a government program, has trained to prepare for a world of mass commercial deliveries by drones to relieve pressure from highly congested urban roads.

The two-year program aims to apply the capabilities of Israeli drone companies to establish a nationwide network where customers can order goods and deliver them to pick-up locations.

The project is currently in the third of eight stages, but it is still in its infancy and faces many questions about security and logistics.

Women are watching drones carrying goods as part of a test operation of a national drone initiative in Tel Aviv (Oded Balilty / AP)

Daniela Partem of the Israeli Innovation Authority, a partner of the Drone Initiative, said:

Israel is a world leader in drone technology, and much of its expertise is rooted in the highly technological army.

Many of the 16 companies participating in the drone initiative are military-related.

According to Partem, the initiative was inspired by the halting effect of Covid-19 on drug transport in early 2020.

Control Room of Israeli National Drone Initiative (Oded Balilty / AP)

In the early stages, we tested the transport of medicines and plasma by drones.

The initiative then wants to conduct more extensive testing in three different urban areas of Israel to promote legislation that makes drones widely available through apps available to customers and clients.

Israel’s population of 9.3 million is largely packed in the heart of cities where major cities such as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem suffer from high levels of road congestion.

Access to Israeli airspace is strictly regulated by security authorities and requires permission from the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel to fly drones.

National Drone Initiative test operation demonstrated for journalists (Oded Balilty / AP)

The initiative faces many obstacles.

Authorities need to make sure that the drone can handle stormy weather flights and that it can quickly clear the sky in the event of a war or emergency.

There are also privacy issues.

“Obtaining a drone that actually takes pictures and videos creates a whole new dimension of privacy invasion,” said Tehirashwarzartschler, a digital technology expert and fellow at the Israeli Democratic Institute, a think tank in Jerusalem. Stated.

Drones carry goods in Tel Aviv (Oded Balilty / AP)

The drone initiative has already tried to address such concerns by using cameras that can help the machine land, but it lacks the resolution to take detailed pictures.

The Drone Initiative has been working with aviation authorities since its first flight test in January.

Five more tests are planned in the next 14 months.

Yoely Or, co-founder of Cando Drones, one of the companies that participated in the experiment on Monday, said: Goods carried across Tel Aviv’s sky as Israel approaches commercial drones

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