SINGAPORE - Chickens do not stay in flight for long, but airborne fried chicken can go the distance, thanks to Foodpanda’s planned delivery service on drones.
On Thursday (Aug 13), the food delivery platform successfully trialled its pandaFly drone-delivery in collaboration with ST Engineering.
Five packets of ayam penyet, a "smashed" fried chicken dish, made their way from Marina South Pier to a PACC Offshore Services Holdings vessel in a test flight.
The delivery to the vessel located 3km off the pier took about 10 minutes.
When rolled out commercially, pandaFly is intended to complement to Foodpanda's existing delivery network of riders. The company said its drones "will ideally be able to pick up and deliver orders at designated collection points located islandwide where one of Foodpanda's 12,000 riders will be waiting to complete the last-mile delivery".
"This means that customers can still expect the familiarity of our riders delivering piping hot meals right to their doorsteps," it added.
Mr Luc Andreani, managing director of Foodpanda Singapore, said: "Delivering with drones has always been part of our long-term plan, and to see our Foodpanda box up in the air today takes us a big step forward to be the first food delivery platform that makes drone deliveries a reality.
"Much more than a novelty, drone deliveries will help us deliver over longer distances faster while keeping costs low, so that we can continue to satisfy our customers more instantaneously."
Foodpanda and ST Engineering partnered in March this year to adapt the latter's DroNet solution for the delivery of light food items over short distances of up to 3km.
DroNet is a drone network solution designed for autonomous operations in an urban environment.
Foodpanda and ST Engineering next intend to test drones that can fly for a longer duration.