Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

National Drone Initiative

Ongoing (updated Jan 2022)

Building a national drone delivery network in order to improve access to medical and consumer goods.

Impact

  • Smarter and more efficient processes
  • Accelerated technology adoption
  • Robust protocols, systems and processes

Challenge

Efficient delivery of medical supplies and consumer goods in response to and after COVID-19 to overcome density and transport constraints

Solution


  • Develop a regulatory sandbox for drone demonstrations

  • Continual review and revision of regulatory requirements based on evidence from the sandbox

Outcome


  • Reduced delivery time of medical samples and consumer products

  • Improved processes for detection of 'good' drones

  • Safe and scalable deployment of drones

  • Deployment in new industries


In 2020, Israel has launched the National Drone Initiative to build a network of drones that deliver medicines and test samples all over the country amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Israel airspace is limited as one of the most densely populated and urbanised countries in the world, with strict control, limited commercial flying zones and no flying zones along its border. C4IR Israel has worked in close collaboration with the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel and the Ministry of Justice to examine the national aerial regulation for urban cargo drones.

C4IR Israel has been a key coordinator and developer of the regulatory sandbox through which a series of drone demonstrations have taken place. Three out of eight demonstrations have been completed. These demonstrations have been used to assess how aerospace regulation can be responsibly adjusted, while improving the performance of drone deliveries through technology infrastructure. Pilots have already seen COVID samples taken from patients in the departments arrive with drones at the laboratory within a few minutes.

The Centre are working to expand partners in the drone network and eventually collaborate with emergency services such as the Israel Fire and Rescue Services. The drones have thus far completed missions of up to 5km and will complete missions of up to 100km in 2022.

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