Malaysia launch the Urban Drone Delivery Sandbox

Malaysian consumers can look forward to a new shopping experience as Teleport, the logistics venture of AirAsia Digital announced on Saturday it has partnered with Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC), the Lead Secretariat of the National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS), to launch the Urban Drone Delivery Sandbox.

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Going for the long haul

Still in its testing phase, the project also aims to develop a long-term viability of urban service.

“We are poised to be the frontrunner in the DroneTech industry, which is expected to generate US$127 billion by 2025. The global market size specific to drone package delivery was US$642.4 million in 2019, and is projected to reach US$7.388 billion in 2027,” Malaysia’s Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin said.

He added that the drone delivery of goods can be expanded and scaled up beyond e-commerce, such as delivery of essential or medical supplies to areas that are rural, remote, or affected by natural disasters. Nice!

Currently, the pilot project for the delivery of goods would involve airasia’s e-commerce platforms including airasia shop.

Automated drones will be tested in a six-month long phase approach at the thirdNational Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS) test site in Cyberjaya. These tests involve two local drone operators: VStream Revolution Sdn Bhd and Meraque Services SdnBhd.

Step-by-step

The drone service will be launched and expanded following the success of the trial phase. The first phase aims to assess the capability, experience, approval process, deployment readiness, and service expansion of the drone operators.

Working closely with the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM), NTIS plans to ensure the safety and security of Unmanned Air Services in urban settings meets the requirements and regulations as set by Malaysia’s sole technical regulator.

Public safety remains to be the highest priority.

Would other drone operators be onboarded?

NTIS aims to invite other drone tech startups to scale up by connecting them with regulators, telcos, and other ecosystem players.

“Our role is to develop a more vibrant drone tech ecosystem, and this can be expedited with government intervention. The pandemic has presented us the opportunity to accelerate structural changes to the economy, in terms of digitization, digitalization, automation, and robotics, and we must embrace that change to vault Malaysia towards becoming an innovation driven economy,” Khairy added.

The minister believes that the strategic partnership between airasia and MaGIC will speed things up and signal the beginning of the Malaysia’s urban drone delivery revolution.

A game changer?

Airasia Group might have experienced a tumultuous decade but its CEO continues to believe in the power of innovation.

”airasia has been at the forefront of innovation since we were established 20 years ago. Today, we have disrupted the e-commerce industry with the airasia super app offering food, groceries, duty-free products delivery by our logistics venture, Teleport, and more,” Tony Fernandes said.

He believes the partnership with MaGIC to explore urban drone delivery will bring about an innovative logistic solution that will ultimately improve efficiency and operational excellence as well as accelerate the pace of delivery in urban areas.

“Besides, drone delivery enables us to keep up with the ever growing demand for e-commerce and remain agile when facing a shifting economic landscape.”

Fernandes also believes that this innovation will create new and high-tech job opportunities for Malaysians.

“The ability to pivot is part of our culture and while some are losing their jobs in aviation, we offer a second chance for them to build a new career with us through e-commerce. As a disruptive leader, we are ready to take on new innovative challenges and embrace the wave of Industry Revolution 4.0 to our advantage. The only way is up and we cannot wait to deliver your orders with airasia drones in the near future.”

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