A Reykjavík retailer now offers home delivery by drone, RÚV reports. Iceland’s largest online retailer, Aha.is, began offering the delivery method to Reykjavík residents yesterday, following an extensive trial period last fall. The development makes the Icelandic capital one of the first cities in the world to offer the delivery method.
“We have nine specially trained staff members in this who have attended a course in meteorology, safety, and drone piloting,” stated Maron Kristófersson, one of the owners of Aha.is.
The drone currently in use can deliver orders of up to 3kg of products such as books, electronics, or even food, though it does not fly in strong winds. Its forthcoming successor is expected to carry more, fly farther, and withstand rain, snow, and wind.
Besides being more environmentally friendly than traditional delivery methods, drone service can shorten delivery times and lower costs.
The company is licensed to operate some 15 flight routes and delivery locations, but home deliveries are also an option. “People can receive a delivery in their yard if they live on the outskirts of their neighbourhood, so long as they get consent from their neighbours,” stated Maron.
Rather than landing, drones drop their package down to the receiver on a wire. Customers receive a text when the drone is on its way and are able to track its flight in real time. When the drone has arrived, another text message is sent. A test delivery made for national broadcaster RÚV took under five minutes to deliver a package on a route nearly 3km (1.9mi) long.