Flivery Inc, one of the startups to emerge in the most recent batch from Alchemist Accelerator, believes it is perfectly suited to meet the growing demand for “touchless delivery” during the Covid-19 pandemic and is seeking a pre-seed investment of USD500,000, reports Silicon Valley Business Journal.
The Mountain View-based firm has developed “last-mile” drone technology that companies can use to pick up and deliver packages with a minimum of human involvement. It layers its high definition 3D mapping, collision avoidance, machine vision and coordination technology onto 0ff-the-shelf drones and custom-designed boxes to accurately get packages from delivery centres to their final destinations.
Founder and CEO Lei Kang, a former Google and Cruise Automation software engineer, believes Flivery can compete with their biggest competitors like Amazon and Uber within a potential future market of up to an annual USD100 billion.
“The solution that others offer requires someone to physically attach the payload. You also need somebody to coordinate the process to say that it is OK to leave with the package,” explained Kang. “This is labour intensive and not scalable and isn’t efficient.”
He continued, “With our system, you just need to place the payload somewhere for pickup and the drone will handle everything else. It is a fully autonomous solution and does not require user-drone physical interaction.”
Kang commented, “Our drones can actively keep themselves away from other drones, power lines, trees, people and animals, and deliver the package without human intervention.” Adding, “This allows us to provide out solution at a much lower cost.”
Kang goes on to say that Flivery specifically do not want people to be involved with the packages, particularly with large scale operations. The company are constructing scalable video streaming and co-ordinations systems that can be used to schedule millions of drones. Flivery will also publish a 3D city model and system as a public service to benefit the communities where they operate.
As for Flivery’s revenue stream Kang explains. “We will provide our drones and software to delivery services and gain a commission for each delivery made. We will also get an upfront payment to provide our service.” All their deliveries will be within a 3 mile radius.
Flivery are partnering with the Rapidus delivery service to begin a pilot in California. “Our initial pilot scheme will fly from one fixed location to another,” he continued. “Once our technology matures, we will move to the food delivery industry and make deliveries from a fixed location to random drop-off points.”
For more information