Nespresso teams up with technology developers Airwayz, SkylinX and Flytech IL for a pilot project of delivering coffee capsules via drones in Israel. The aim of this project is to evaluate the practicality of drone deliveries in an urban environment as a solution to traffic issues.

Nespresso coffee capsules are delivered to a targeted group of customers along a route, which links the Reading area in the north and the Jaffa Port in the south. Director of Customer Care and Services at Nespresso Israel, Shai Dinur stated:

The consumer experience is king at Nespresso. I believe drone delivery could really transform the ordering process and our responsiveness, reducing delivery times and really going the extra mile for consumers who love exceptional coffee.

These unmanned aircraft run a route along the shores of the Tel Aviv Jaffa Municipality using an AI-based traffic management system. Flying Cargo will be making the deliveries via global transport company GettDelivery. CEO of Airwayz Eyal Zor stated:

This pilot program is another crucial step forward in showing that drone delivery not only works but has huge benefits in easing our overcrowded roads, contributing to sustainable last-mile delivery and meeting the superfast demands of today’s consumer.
We will also show it to be cost-effective, to prove the commercial benefit, but principally, it will be done safely.

This drone delivery pilot program is a potential solution to cut down traffic and carbon footprint in Tel Aviv. Factors such as safety, and noise and privacy considerations will be a priority, as the drones are operating in urban, populated areas. The route of the pilot program is also essential as it runs through more popular areas, and will be able to provide information on whether or not the drone delivery method is commercially viable.

Ron Huldai, Tel Aviv Mayor, stated:

The future is already here. We are beginning a pilot in Tel Aviv Jaffa that will test, in a measured and correct way, the ability to use drones commercially in an urban space.

We do that in a controlled manner to assess capabilities, but also to find the right balance for free and open urban air routes.

Drone deliveries have long been an ambition of companies facing big logistic issues. Amazon has been actively working in this space for years. Even with the technical expertise and investment Amazon has already made, drones have not been deployed at scale, which suggests there are still problems that need to be overcome.

Some of the issues faced include the danger of causing an injury if the drone malfunctions, the threat of being vandalised, and the privacy issues that might arise from images it captures during the journey. We’ll follow the Nespresso project with interest.

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