Australian Startup Flirtey to commercially use drones to deliver textbooks by March 2014

by Sayan Chakravarty

The idea of small autonomous drones as delivery agents has become a rage this year. We have seen everything from Domino’s pizzas to burritos to even sushi being delivered through the aerial route. While they were more of PR stunts rather than anything serious, an Aussie start-up named ‘Flirtey’ is actually working to commercialize UAV e-commerce delivery system. Flirtey hopes to launch commercial drone delivery system of textbooks bought on Zookal to local customers of Australia by March 2014. Flirtey is a joint venture between Zookal and software company Vimbra. The company’s co-founders are Zookal CEO Ahmed Haider and Vimbra CEO Matthew Sweeny.

The policies for drones to be used commercially are more relaxed in Australia as compared to the US and the rest of the world. If Flirtey gets the approval of Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), it will be the first use of fully automated commercial drones for deliveries in the world, the company claims. “As one of the few countries in the world to allow commercial drone activities, Australia is uniquely placed to create a new drone industry and shape the development of regulations in this space,” said Haider.

Delivering packages through the drones will not only reduce the transit time, but will also cut the cost considerably. Flirtey along with Zookal plans to start with six drones operating in a 3km area of the Sydney CBD. The Flirtey app, only available for Android in the initial phase, will be able to track the delivery process and select the location of delivery. The Flirtey drone circumvents potential privacy issues by not having a camera onboard. It solely depends on GPS to track the customer and deliver the package.

[Via – TheAge]

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