Singapore, 13 August 2020 – Pandas may soon fly! foodpanda, Singapore’s leading delivery platform, has reached greater heights of food delivery with pandaFly, which completed its drone delivery test flight this morning. Joining hands with global technology, defence and engineering group, ST Engineering, an order of 5 packets of Ayam Penyet (“smashed” fried chicken) was delivered from Marina South Pier to PACC Offshore Services Holdings (POSH) Vessel, located 3km off the pier, in under ten minutes.
Increasingly, customers will want to be able to buy anything, from anywhere, and receive them immediately – all within the tap of a few buttons. With drones, foodpanda intends to meet these demands by making long-distance deliveries better, faster, and cheaper for all. In the last five years, delivery times have gone from 60 minutes to under 30 minutes and now, quite possibly less than 15 minutes! This latest flight test demonstrated by ST Engineering using its DroNet solution proves that it’s possible to simultaneously deliver longer distances and cut delivery times by yet another half. Imagine placing an order for Changi Village Nasi Lemak and receiving the piping hot meal in Jurong within 15 minutes with minimal delivery fee!
Intended as a complement to our pandariders, the drones will ideally be able to pick up and deliver orders at designated collection points located islandwide where one of foodpanda’s 12,000 riders will be waiting to complete the last-mile delivery. This means that customers can still expect the familiarity of our pandariders delivering piping hot meals right to their doorsteps.
“Delivering with drones has always been part of our long-term plan, and to see our foodpanda box up in the air today takes us a big step forward to be the first food delivery platform that makes drone deliveries a reality. Much more than a novelty, drone deliveries will help us deliver over longer distances faster, while keeping costs low, so that we can continue to satisfy our customers more instantaneously.” said Luc Andreani, Managing Director of foodpanda Singapore.
Working with leading Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) solutions provider to make drone deliveries a reality In March this year, foodpanda inked a partnership with ST Engineering to adapt its DroNet solution to trial the delivery of light food items over short distances of up to 3km. DroNet is an end-to-end drone network solution designed to carry out specific tasks or services autonomously in an urban environment.
One of the leading players in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) industry, ST Engineering has been working closely with regulators and industry partners to develop solutions that make use of the latest smart and unmanned technologies for military and commercial applications. ST Engineering received authorisation granted by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) for the use of UAS to perform the proof of concept delivery exercise. In the next phase following today’s test flight, foodpanda and ST Engineering will be looking to test drones that can fly further and for longer durations.
Jeffrey Lam, Deputy President of ST Engineering’s Aerospace sector said, “In our latest flight exercise, we are pleased to collaborate with foodpanda to adapt our drone network solution to realise a faster and cost-efficient method in food deliveries, one that can also help meet the need for safe distancing under the current COVID-19 situation. With a growing list of potential customers and collaborators which include Wilhelmsen Ships Service for shore-to-ship parcel deliveries, we are able to make significant advancements in applying DroNet to meet real-world problems, and help end-users such as foodpanda to introduce game-changing enhancements to their operations and services.”
The future of drone deliveries is now. Drones will make it possible to deliver things not delivered before, to places that were previously inaccessible. As technology advances, there is no doubt that drones will continue to drive innovation for many industries – including food delivery.
“The usage of drones is an area that POSH is actively studying as part of our innovation roadmap. We are therefore pleased to partner foodpanda and ST Engineering in this test flight, which offers a glimpse of what is possible. There is still much work to be done to fully enable shore to ship drone delivery over longer haul distances. POSH will continue to work with suitable partners so as to bring a taste of home to our seafarers onboard, in time to come.” said Danny Chong, General Manager, COE (Innovation), POSH.
With the support of cross-industry partners such as POSH who hosted the test flight, foodpanda is positioned to champion yet another industry-first with the aim of meeting the needs of all our customers, wherever they are.