As Delivery Apps Spread, Innovating the Last Mile Remains an End Goal
Host Barbara Castiglia welcomed to The Main Course Yariv Bash, CEO of Flytrex, to discuss an innovation in food delivery that has long been on the radar, but whose growth has been exacerbated by the pandemic: drones. While his company was founded in 2013 under different circumstances, it only took until 2016 for Bash and his team to realize that drone deliveries were “gonna happen.”
In 2017, Flytrex became the first company to provide a “working door delivery solution.” They started testing the technology in Iceland, and then the following year began working with the FAA to make the “pie in the sky” dream reach American’s front yard. And if it is food delivery, it could be a literal pie coming in from a drone in the sky.
“These are actually small airplanes,” Bash explained, “and they are being certified for commercial aviation. That is why it has been taking so long. The FAA is… putting in so much effort and resources to making sure the skies stay safe.”
Essentially, the process would work like this: instead of a delivery person taking an order and driving it over to the address themselves, they would take the order to the nearest drone station and the drone would take the order to the customer. The drone does so by hovering over the address at 80 feet and lowering the package on a tether to its final destination.
Bash argued that the drones would also be a “win-win” for restaurants, who struggle to make money from other delivery services that take a large surcharge from their orders. The drones, he said, are far more affordable.
The system is also remarkable efficient at handling packages. “We’ve been delivering ice cream, eggs, coffee… anything that you can think of without a spill.”
Bash also said it would benefit local communities. “In the end it’s all about the local community, because everywhere we go we open up a local station, we hire local employees and we can support local restaurants, as well.”
Flytrex’s restaurant partners are currently, largely under non-disclosure agreements, but he said, “We love working with as many partners as we can once we open a station… to offer the largest variety and make sure that the station delivers as many deliveries as we can make a day.”
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