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July 20, 2018 3:52 pm

Israeli Company’s Delivery Drone May Soon Take Flight in North Carolina

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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A Flytrex drone carrying a package. Photo: Screenshot/YouTube.

An Israeli technology company that created a drone, designed to deliver food and other consumer goods to residential areas, is preparing to potentially be launched in North Carolina, the local CBS 17 news station reported on Thursday.

The town council in Holly Springs, N.C., reviewed a proposal by the Tel Aviv-based company Flytrex on Tuesday and will meet with representatives from the company on August 7 to discuss further cooperation. If approved, Flytrex will actively test aerial deliveries in the area.

Flytrex’s presence in North Carolina started with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) being selected as one of 10 participants in the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Integration Pilot Program of the Federal Aviation Administration. The program focuses on the future of drones in the United States.

“Our project consists of a drone delivery company coming into town, setting up near a local restaurant, and then those businesses can actually utilize the drones,” explained Holly Springs’ assistant director of engineering, Aaron Levitt. “We are pumped. I think it’s really exciting. What we’re talking about is expanding municipal services, and bringing this technology to a town that most people in the country have never heard of before. So it’s really going to put us on the map and put us out there as an innovative and high-tech town, and a growing town.”

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Levitt explained that the drones would work with local restaurants to deliver food faster, with average flight times of 3 minutes. He added, “Every drone in the air is going to be one less car on the street once we start delivering goods so it won’t improve capacity on the roads but it will decrease demand on the roads.”

Testing will also be done using medical supplies, according to James Pearce, communications officer for NCDOT. He said he believes Holly Springs is a great place to begin testing these drones because the town is a good size, fast growing and not in the way of Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Flytrex currently offers drone services in 90 countries, according to North Carolina’s WRAL News. The delivery service was launched in Iceland’s capital Reykjavík in August 2017 and helps transfer goods, and not only food, from restaurants and stores to two parts of the city that are separated by a large bay. The drones cut delivery times and costs, and currently has 23 delivery spots across throughout Reykjavik where customers can pick up orders within five minutes after confirmation of their purchase, according to the website The Drive.

The drones — whether it be a single one or a fleet delivering goods across an entire city — are controlled and managed by the Flytrex Control Center, an online dashboard.

Flytrex CEO and co-founder Yariv Bash told the website NoCamels that his company was “going to change the way we consume goods.”

He explained, “The same way that cars started [by] going on dirt roads and today we have traffic lights and signs, we’ll see a similar evolution in the air traffic management needs for all the different drones — delivery companies, inspection drones, first responders and others who will share the same airspace.”

Bash also co-founded the Israeli startup SpaceIL, which recently announced its plans to launch a spacecraft to the moon in December and land it there in February.

Watch the video below to see a Flytrex drone in action:

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