Flipkart partners with Telangana govt for drone delivery of vaccines, medical supplies

Flipkart will lead a consortium for the deployment of drones under the 'Medicines from the Sky' project in Telangana to deliver medical supplies in remote areas.
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India’s leading ecommerce marketplace Flipkart has announced its partnership with the Telangana government to enable the deployment of drones for the delivery of medical supplies in remote areas amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the initiative called 'Medicines from the Sky', Flipkart will lead a consortium tasked with the development and execution of the drone deliveries of medical supplies, including vaccines, to remote areas.

A statement from the company said that it will utilise learnings from its tech-enabled supply chain to deploy drones and enable deliveries of vaccines and medical supplies.

These efforts will be complemented with technologies such as geo-mapping, routing of shipments, and track and trace of location etc, which are developed by Flipkart.

A combination of these technologies will then be used to conduct Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) deliveries in remote areas of the state, where the drones will not be visible to the normal eyesight when they are flying.

On this development, Rajneesh Kumar, Senior Vice-President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Flipkart said, “The COVID-19 crisis has pushed the envelope in the rapid development of scalable and robust technologies, and the Medicines from the Sky project is a testament to that. It is a decisive step in making use of cutting-edge technologies for the safety and well-being of the masses.”

Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary (IT and I&C), Government of Telangana said, “Telangana has been a pioneer in using technology for improving the lives of the citizens. Using drones to deliver healthcare supplies to people in remote and inaccessible areas is a one-of-a-kind initiative ever undertaken in our country and we are happy to lead this initiative in collaboration with partners such as Flipkart.”

He noted that the pilot project, which will be conducted over six days, will leverage the ecommerce company’s understanding of the supply chain and technologies related to the automated movement of shipments.

The ‘Medicines from the Sky’ is a project conceived by the World Economic Forum and Healthnet Global Limited that outlines the requirements for drone delivery and how to assess proposals.

According to the Telangana government, it has adopted this framework to implement drones for the last-mile delivery, and will integrate them into the state’s healthcare supply chain.

Earlier, Bengaluru-based hyperlocal startup Dunzo also announced the launch of a pilot programme to use drones to deliver medicines in Telangana to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state..

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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