Vodafone Idea partners with Zomato to trial commercial drone delivery in India

Setting its eyes on Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) drone trials, telecom giant Vodafone Idea has announced a partnership with foodtech giant Zomato, reports inc42.com. The telecom and foodtech leaders will join the ClearSky Consortium Initiative, organised by India’s Civil Aviation Regulator (DGCI).

The partnership with Vodafone Idea occurs after Zomato had cut business ties with Gurugram-based drone startup TechEagle Innovations in December 2018. The decision raised questions about the food giant’s drone delivery ambitions. However, the company has explained it will move forward with drone testing as soon as it is safe due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Vodafone Idea will provide LTE support to the drones, where the craft is attached with a Vodafone Idea SIM device, which then will be connected to the local network to gather data like weather details, battery status, distance etc..

Besides Zomato, several hyperlocal and food delivery players, including Dunzo, ShopX and Swiggy have been pilot testing drone delivery services in India. India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation(DGCA) under its ClearSky consortium has selected ten companies to run pilot projects. These consortia include Asteria Aerospace, Dunzo, ShopX, Spicejet and Throttle Aerospace Systems.

Now, Vodafone Idea and Zomato, who are also part of the consortium, have been allowed to run trials by the DGCA.

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