One step closer to commercial drone delivery
"We're thrilled with how our autonomous technology performed."
Flirtey made history yet again on Wednesday, June 22, when its drone made the first ship-to-shore drone delivery on U.S. soil in collaboration with John Hopkins and the U.N.
The Nevada-based drone delivery company transported medical supplies to and from an offshore ship located in Cape May County, NJ, but it wasn’t an easy feat.
“This delivery put our technology to the test in a disaster scenario, which included tight timelines, high winds, and choppy waters,” says Flirtey CEO Matt Sweeny. “Our drones fly autonomously, and the barge we delivered to was moving in the ocean swell, so we're thrilled with how our autonomous technology performed.”
Another obstacle that interferes with large-scale drone delivery is how to operate and integrate the unmanned aerial vehicles safely into the airspace.
During Wednesday’s test, Simulyze’s Mission Insight application provided those involved with real-time processing of telemetry data from the Flirtey drone, weather information, flight boundary violations, FAA aircraft data, and other potential flight conflicts.
"The ship-to-shore delivery is a template for how to integrate data from drones into existing data flow and make it possible for drones to operate safely in U.S. airspace,” says Kevin Gallagher, CEO of Simulyze. “The demonstration, which included processing and visualizing data about ships, manned aircraft, and UAVs, further emphasized the critical need for having a broader, real-time picture than just knowing where your UAV is.”
Mission Insight also provided the aircraft traffic manager with situational awareness to help support safety within the national and local airspace.
While commercial drone delivery is not yet a reality, Flirtey is positioning itself to be the first at your doorstep. The company made the first FAA-approved U.S. drone delivery in 2015 and the first autonomous drone delivery in a U.S. urban environment in March.
“Each of these achievements are stepping stones which are driving the industry forward toward regular commercial drone delivery to customer homes,” says Sweeny.