TechEagle Innovations, a Lucknow-based drone startup founded in 2015, has recently partnered with Ethiopian e-commerce company Addis Mercato. TechEagle was acquired by Indian food delivery company Zomato in December 2018. However, both the companies parted ways in June 2020. Additionally, the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA) has laid the country’s first drone regulations that include drone import licenses, registration, and drone clearance. These newly finalized regulations will further help TechEagle carry out drone deliveries in Africa.
Drone Deliveries to Begin in 2021 in Ethiopia
At present, TechEagle is in the process of fulfilling the legal requirements to operate its delivery drones in Ethiopia. The commercial flight clearances are due in the first quarter of 2021 and the company will begin its drone operations soon after.
The drones made by the company are capable of Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) and precision navigation. The drones can also detect and avoid obstacles, visual identification and smart flight path planning with real-time redundant network connection, and scheduling capabilities, the company stated. The drones will be deployed in Zone 5 of Addis Ababa and will have to traverse a distance of 14 kilometers from the warehouses to the customers.
TechEagle has been instrumental in developing drones to curb the spread of COVID-19. They have showcased package delivery drones for contactless delivery, public announcement drones, and surveillance drones to help maintain social distancing norms.
“This solution would save human lives with faster delivery response time in emergency situations. While building the ecosystem, we believe in empowering the local youth with skill development, training and by creating new job opportunities,” said Vikram Singh Meena, founder of TechEagle.
A similar drone delivery service has been operating seamlessly in Rwanda. Therefore, TechEagle’s drone delivery service will be the second such service in Africa.
How far is commercial drone delivery in India?
With the rapidly developing Indian drone industry and improving drone regulations, commercial drone deliveries may only be 1-2 years away. Companies like Dunzo, Asteria Aerospace, Throttle Aerospace Systems, Spicejet, and nine other consortia have received authorization from the DGCA to carry out Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) testing of drones.
The government has also created a platform called GARUD to exempt drone organizations working for the government from restrictions. A second and updated version of the drone regulations is in progress and would greatly benefit the commercial drone industry. As of now, there are 17 NPNT-compliant drones in India. Read more about the available drones here.