ShopX, Omnipresent to start e-commerce drone delivery trials from September

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ShopX and Omnipresent have got a go-ahead from the centre to use drones for home deliveries on a trial basis, starting September.

ShopX has come up with an innovative Drone ‘AirTrain’ concept, for just-in-time (JIT) delivery across Indian B2B value chains. This allows small retailers to pick ‘Drone Delivery’ as a delivery option and get a wide range of products delivered to them within 30 to 60 minutes.

Currently, these stores are limited by what they can carry in their limited shelf space, and conventional supply chains typically fulfil their needs once a week. With AirTrain, they can get real time fulfilment of products, thereby increasing their merchandising ability and sales. ShopX is already running one of the largest eB2B retail networks in the country, with over two lakh retailers on its technology platform.

Omnipresent comes with some solid background in this area. The firm had earlier done trial drone deliveries of medicine for AIIMS Hospital in Delhi. Omnipresent has developed an inhouse AI Engine called the Nerve Center which allows smart scheduling planning detection and classification on board the drone. They are already empanelled by seven state agencies for drone based services in agriculture, telecom, oil refineries, factories and survey applications. So far, they have done over one lakh acres of agriculture and city mapping.

“Our drones have been deployed in almost all states in India now; they have been especially useful in significantly improving output of industrial factories by giving them actionable insights on structural damage, catching theft, accurate stock calculation, virtual 3D tours and accurate mapping. Recently, we also got recognised as one of the top 5 UAV companies selected by Union Ministry of Agriculture to be given permission do precision spraying to fight recent locust attack via drones,” said Aakash Sinha, Founder, Omnipresent Tech.

Omnipresent and ShopX had jointly done trial deliveries in the latter’s warehouses.

“With our partnership with Omnipresent, we want to put India at the forefront of utilising drone technology for real applications today and intend to create a major disruption in supply chain especially for retail segment,” said Amit Sharma, CEO and Co-founder, ShopX.

The government has eased out most of the drone regulations for commercial operations. It is backing BVLOS operations and creating automated Digital Sky platform which will allow authorised drone operators to fly in nearly 80% of India (Green and Yellow Zones) with automated real time online permissions process.

Until now drones were mostly being used for videography and surveillance. But a recent amendment in government regulations will now allow long range drone based deliveries such as food delivery, online purchase delivery, medicine and blood delivery in cases of emergency on a large scale across India.

The ministries of civil aviation and home affairs have have given permissions to a select few companies to run beyond visual line of sight operations of drones.

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