Drone powerhouse Israel is translating the information of Air Force veterans into the delivery of sushi and ice cream, as companies use their expertise to avoid collisions in increasingly crowded skies.
On a grassy stretch of Tel Aviv beach, three drones flew above dazzling high-rise buildings this week, buzzing propellants as they descended on the landing pad.
Two carried sushi, and a third carried cans of beer.
Their flight was made possible by High Lander, an Israeli company that specializes in traffic control for autonomous drones, and Cando, which helps design drone strategies for customers.
“Flying a drone is not an issue,” High Lander chief executive Elon Abelson told AFP.
“We’re talking about multi drones … coming from different drone manufacturers, but still they’re 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.
Daniela Partem, who leads the drone initiative at the Israel Innovation Authority, said she envisions “thousands” of drones flying simultaneously in crowded cities in the future, providing medical deliveries, boosting police missions and Speed up takeout meals.
“Our goal is to create a competitive market in Israel, not dominated by a single company,” she said.
“If we manage to remove vehicles in the air from roads, we can affect traffic, we can reduce air pollution… we can create a better, safer environment for the delivery of goods. “
Drone expert Michael Horowitz, a political scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, said Israel was preparing “civilian analogues” for its military drones that are getting smaller and can reportedly move and strike in coordination.
Israel’s military drone program has faced criticism, especially from Palestinians in the blocked Gaza Strip, who say it instills fear and could harm civilians.
In the commercial drone industry, Horowitz said Israel could offer a new perspective for companies that develop their technologies alone.
“Often you’ll have a company like Google that’s only monitoring their systems,” Horowitz said.
“If an Israeli company develops an effective local-scale drone command and control architecture that can include drones from many different companies, I can imagine a lot of people potentially interested in that product.” “
Horowitz said advances in civilian drones could help Israel gain share in the drone market as rivals China and Turkey eat into their military drone exports.
High Lander’s Abelson said they have customers around the world, including Japan, South Korea, France, the United States and Israel and African countries.
Manoel Coelho, CEO of Brazil’s Speedbird aero drone company, told AFP he used the High Lander to “separate the airspace” because it was “the first in the world to do so in such an organized manner”.
delivery in minutes
Other Israeli work with drones remains theoretical.
Hadas Aharoni, 22, the controller of the Airways drone company, monitored dozens of autonomous drones flying over the northern city of Hadera, though she sat in a control room on Tel Aviv’s busy Ayalon Highway about 50 kilometers (30 miles) south. .
“We can look at the flight paths where drones take off and land, their altitude, their batteries and all kinds of problems that we need to solve so that drones can reach,” Aharoni said.
As of now, the drones are carrying out exercise missions to set up landing pads in the city.
“When there are more flight programs in the future, we are checking that this system will be stable,” she said.
Israeli companies are focusing on the developing industry.
The Golda ice cream chain opened a pop-up beach shop in Tel Aviv where customers could scan a QR code and order frozen treats via drone.
“In less than 10 minutes you can get your order, which you can’t do with regular vehicles,” said marketing manager Talya Marder.
“I think as soon as it takes hold and people understand how much value it adds, we’ll be there.”
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)