E-commerce major Flipkart has partnered with the Telangana government to lead a consortium tasked with the development and execution of the drone deliveries of medical supplies to remote areas under the ‘Medicines from the Sky’ project. The pilot, which is expected to be conducted for over six days, will be tested out for delivering thousands of Covid-19 vaccines in Hyderabad while keeping in mind all the safety and efficiency parameters.
Google-backed delivery and e-commerce firm Dunzo Digital has earlier this month announced similar drone delivery flights under the same project in Telangana.
Walmart-backed Flipkart will utilise learnings from its tech-enabled supply chain to deploy drones and enable deliveries of medical supplies. These efforts will be complemented with technologies such as geo mapping, routing of shipments and track and trace of location, developed by Flipkart over the years in serving customers.
“The Covid-19 crisis has pushed the envelope in the rapid development of scalable and robust technologies and the Medicines from the Sky project is a testament to that. It is a decisive step in making use of cutting-edge technologies for the safety and wellbeing of the masses,” said Pranav Saxena, Distinguished Product Manager at Flipkart.
According to Saxena this pilot will set the premise for the utilisation of drone systems in providing healthcare and product delivery in remote areas and even during disasters.
“Telangana has been a pioneer in using technology for improving the lives of the citizens. Using drones to deliver healthcare supplies to people in remote and inaccessible areas is a one-of-a-kind initiative ever undertaken in our country and we are happy to lead this initiative in collaboration with partners such as Flipkart,” said Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary (IT and I&C), Government of Telangana.
Leveraging the Centre’s recent regulation policies for low-altitude airspace for drones and unmanned aerial vehicles, the Telangana government is exploring the scope of delivery of medical and healthcare provisions through drones across the state. The government has partnered with the World Economic Forum, government think tank Niti Aayog, and HealthNet Global for ‘Medicine from the Sky’ with the support of leaders in medicine, technology, and research.