Bengaluru-based food delivery platform Swiggy will deploy drones on a pilot basis to execute deliveries for its grocery service Instamart.
According to a blog post by Swiggy, the company received 345 registrations in response to a request for proposal (RFP) for Drones-as-a-Service. After an extensive evaluation process covering legal, financial, and technical aspects, the company has finalised four firms for conducting the trials.
The pilot project would be executed in two tranches. The first tranche would involve Garuda Aerospace for Bengaluru and Skyeair Mobility for Delhi-NCR. The second tranche would involve ANRA and TechEagle Consortia and Marut Dronetech.
According to the blog post, Swiggy ‘finalised four vendors in two tranches who have a mix of capabilities in drone hardware, potential to scale up, investment in innovation, research and development, and the overall ability to deliver the service’.
The pilot project is meant to evaluate the feasibility of drones for the middle-mile use case, particularly for Swiggy’s grocery delivery service Instamart. Drones would be used to replenish stocks between seller-run dark stores and from a store to a common customer point. A delivery partner would then pick up orders from the common point and deliver them to the customer’s doorstep.
The pilot of tranche 1 would commence in Bengaluru with Garuda Aerospace and in Delhi-NCR with Skyeair Mobility in the first week of May. Based on the progress, expansion would take place in the region and beyond.
The company plans to use the findings from these pilot projects as a stepping stone in unearthing possibilities for drone-assisted deliveries in the e-commerce space.