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Israel Readies for Delivery Drone Traffic Jams

Israel Readies for Delivery Drone Traffic Jams

Friday, 15 October, 2021 - 04:15
A drone carrying a box marked "Flying Sushi" is airborne in the Israeli coastal city of Herzliya. AFP

Drone powerhouse Israel is translating the know-how of air force veterans to the delivery of sushi and ice-cream, as companies tap their expertise to avoid collisions in increasingly crowded skies.

On a grassy stretch of a Tel Aviv beachfront, three drones flew above shiny high-rises this week, propellers buzzing as they lowered down onto landing pads.

Their flight was made possible by High Lander, an Israeli company that specializes in traffic control for autonomous drones, and Cando, which helps craft drone strategies for clients.

"To fly one drone is not an issue," High Lander's chief executive Alon Abelson told AFP.

"We are talking about multi drones... coming from different drone manufacturers, but still they are monitoring with our software and we can make sure they don't collide."

The demonstration was part of a 20 million shekel, or about $6 million, public-private initiative to advance Israel's drone technology.

Daniella Partem, who leads the drone initiative at the Israel Innovation Authority, said she envisioned "thousands" of drones flying simultaneously in crowded cities in the future, providing medical deliveries, bolstering police missions and speeding up takeout food.

"Our goal is to create a competitive market in Israel, not dominated by one company," she said.

"If we manage to remove vehicles from the roads to the air, we can affect traffic, we can reduce air pollution... we can create a better, safer environment for the delivery of goods."

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