Foodora tests fast food delivery by drone in Sweden

The Scandinavian food delivery service Foodora has conducted a pilot project with McDonald's on food delivery by drone. People on the beach at Gustavsberg (near Stockholm) could order McDonald's via the Foodora app and have it delivered to a collection point by drone. The flights were carried out automatically over a distance of approximately one mile.

Faster delivery by drone

Drone delivery is hot, and various players are eager to use drones for, among other things, the delivery of meals. Including the originally German company Foodora. In Sweden, the meal delivery company last week carried out a pilot project in which fast food was delivered by drone. To this end, Foodora entered into a partnership with McDonald's.

“It feels great that McDonald's wants to join forces with us and Foodora's innovations in logistics. Both we and McDonald's want to lead the way in Sweden. We want to make it possible to offer fast deliveries to everyone in Sweden. It shouldn't make a difference whether you live in Gothenburg or a smaller town in northern Sweden,” Foodora's CEO, Hans Skruvfors, said in a press release.

Fixed flight route

During the trial period, people on the beach at Gustavsberg could order a meal from McDonald's and have it delivered by drone. The drone covered a distance of approximately one mile. The drone automatically flew a predefined route at an altitude of 400 feet. The drone in question was a DJI M300, which was provided with a special food box in which the meals were transported. The flights were performed EVLOS (extended visual line of sight) with an observer at the landing zone.

The Dutch company AirHub was involved in the pilot project in a facilitating role. “Foodora has asked AirHub to support this, to carry out the flights in Sweden through a cross-border operation, and to arrange all other flight technical matters (such as the payload box). Before that, we traveled to Sweden a few times for tests, and we did some commercial operations for a few days,” says Toby Enzerink of AirHub.

Broader applications for drone delivery

Ultimately, drone delivery of fast food is not Foodora's primary goal.

“The pilot was done with McDonald's this time, but Foodora is going to look more broadly at the use of drones. They offer not only food but also many other products. The pilot now was completely focused on this case,” says Enzerink.

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Wiebe de Jager
Wiebe de Jager

Wiebe de Jager is the founder of Dronewatch and author of several bestselling books about drone photography. Wiebe is a certified drone pilot and has a full ROC license.

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