Fastway Couriers has continued its commitment to technology and innovation by investing in Flirtey, the world’s first commercial aerial delivery service, marking the beginning of a collaboration where retail orders can be delivered directly via an unmanned aerial vehicle.
Fastway New Zealand and Flirtey recently successfully trialled their first drone parcel delivery in Auckland, transporting auto parts on a 1.9 km trip, bypassing factories and traffic congested roads below. To see the journey of the drone, visit https://bit.ly/1Ny8THO or https://bit.ly/1HwrBQ2.
Flirtey CEO, Matthew Sweeny, says the partnership with Fastway is a step forward as a large number of Fastway’s deliveries are online retail orders.
He says 83 per cent of Fastway’s parcels are under 2.5 kg, which is well suited to current drone delivery.
“Drone delivery will revolutionise online retail by enabling instant gratification,” Sweeny says.
“Flirtey is building a future where your retail purchases can be delivered to you by drone within minutes of placing an order online.”
Richard Thame, CEO at Fastway Couriers Australia, says: “We’re very impressed by the recent trial untaken by our global counterparts in NZ. At Fastway, we’re always exploring new and innovative ways to enhance the customer experience and, although there’s no substitute for courier drivers, drone technology is rapidly progressing and may present future opportunities for increasing speed of delivery, particularly in traffic congested areas.”
By road, the same delivery route takes close to 20 minutes to complete, depending on congestion. During the trial, transporting by aerial drone took less than a quarter of the time as it was able to travel uninterrupted.
Sweeny adds: “This is a significant moment because it is the first commercial drone delivery over a populated area in NZ. Together with companies like Fastway, we have an opportunity to offer safe and reliable technology to turn drone delivery into a reality. As the entire concept and its technology continues to evolve, the sky is the limit. We’re pioneering a future where anything a consumer orders can be delivered directly via an unmanned aerial vehicle.”
The Flirtey delivery drone is constructed from carbon fibre, aluminium and 3D printed components. It is a lightweight, autonomous and electrically driven unmanned aerial vehicle. It has a range of over 15 km return. It has built-in safety features such as low battery return to safe location and auto-return home in case of low GPS signal or communication loss.
This marks the beginning of a collaboration, which will see Fastway and Flirtey expand their use of drone delivery technology with trials across NZ.
“At Fastway Australia, while we don’t think drones will replace our courier fleet, we’re excited nonetheless about the prospect of drone technology and we look forward to seeing what the future holds,” adds Thame.