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28 August 2017

Icelanders can get burgers and beer by drone, and we’re all moving

Another day, another home drone delivery experiment.
Another day, another home drone delivery experiment.

Image: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

The future of drone delivery is now, and it’s pretty wild.

Lucky residents of Reykjavík are the first to benefit from a new service delivering online food orders like hamburgers, sushi, and even beer.

The system comes from a partnership between Israeli drone logistics company Flytrex and Icelandic eCommerce company AHA.

It’s not the only one trying to make drone delivery work in an urban setting.  

Amazon’s been working on drone delivery for some time, and saw success with some deliveries in the UK. 7-Eleven has also experimented with commercial drone delivery in Reno, Nevada. In addition, there’s been a few companies trying it out just for the lulz, like LaMar’s doughnuts and Oscar Mayer. But there are still plenty of government restrictions holding up drone delivery from becoming a reality in the U.S. and elsewhere. 

For this Iceland program, a delivery person puts the goods in the drone, locks it for flight, and sends the drone on its way. When the drone touches down at the other end of its route, another delivery person is there to collect the order and drive it to the final destination. 

The normal path that delivery drivers would have to make to reach the same location is a winding one around a wide river that would take around 25 minutes. Drone delivery for the same route only takes four minutes. The company expects to do this about 20 times a day. The only requirement is that the package in flight has to be lighter than six pounds. Flytrex flights start at $0.80 per mile. 

This isn’t door-door drone delivery (womp womp), but Flytrex hopes to make that happen by expanding the program, according to The Verge. The company aims to deliver along more routes in Iceland, lowering your delivery straight down to you via wire.

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