Home Delivery by Drone Launched for Remote Areas

Norway will see groceries, takeaway, and medicines delivered by drone to its remote areas, a service launched by drone logistics company Aviant with the Norwegian Postal Service By Abi Wylie / 12 Jun 2024
Home Delivery by Drone Launched for Remote Areas
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MIT-founded Norwegian drone logistics company Aviant has launched Kyte, its home delivery service that is capable of delivering groceries, takeaway food, and non-prescription medicines to sparsely populated areas and holiday homes in Norway. 

The company has also landed an additional €1M of public funding from Innovation Norway to autonomously deliver vital prescription medicines directly from pharmacies to people in remote and suburban areas. Mobility can be challenging in these areas due to long distances and factors like bad roads or severe weather.

Founded by Lars Erik Fagernæs, Herman Øie Kolden, and Bernhard Paus Græsdal at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2020, Aviant has delivered 12 commercial contracts in Norway and Sweden.

Most notably, the company transported Covid-19 tests and blood samples between district hospitals and central hospitals during the pandemic. Since then, Aviant has operated over 2,500 autonomous flights, covering more than 35,000 km.

Unlike other solutions on the market, such as Google Wing or Manna Drone Delivery, Aviant’s drones are capable of flying as far as 120 km in a straight line, similar to an airplane. The increased efficiency and speed means Kyte’s delivery range is significantly higher than other airborne door delivery services.

The drones are reportedly able to deliver within a 30 km radius for return flights, compared to the 2-3 km offered by other providers. The company is certified under EU regulations to operate autonomous flights within the union.

Customers can request delivery through the Kyte app, where they can choose from various groceries, ready meals, and light medicines. Once the order is placed, the drones are loaded with the ordered items at Kyte’s home base before they autonomously deliver the package and return to base. 

So far, Kyte has made deliveries covering a distance of more than 4,000 km, with an average delivery time of 24 minutes. 

Lars Erik Fagernæs, founder and CEO at Aviant, said; “Our technology proved critical for rural healthcare services during the pandemic, where winter road closures meant our drones were the only link between Covid-19 test sites and laboratories in Central Norway. 

“Now, with the launch of Kyte and our funding from Innovation Norway, Luminar Ventures, and Bring Ventures, we are able to provide people in remote and hard-to-reach areas with the groceries and medical supplies they need, directly to their doorstep, with no traffic restrictions and minimal climate emissions.”

Fagernæs continued; “Door-to-door drone delivery has been a hot topic for years already, but most commercial attempts have been limited to small, open areas such as a single park or technology that limits the radius to 2-3 kilometers. Where plenty of companies have received initial funding, getting a commercial last-mile delivery service up and running has proven extremely difficult. 

“That changes with Kyte. We have a large delivery radius, the permits to operate, and no requirements for pilots or spotters along the route. We are actually delivering food, groceries, and medicine by drone to people’s doorsteps in Norway right now.” 

The company is planning to open a second base in Norway during 2023, which will enable it to serve 20,000 – 30,000 remote holiday homes with door-to-door deliveries. In the longer term, Aviant is planning to bring drone home delivery to most of the Norwegian population, as well as EU markets.

Posted by Abi Wylie Connect & Contact