Ele.me drones set for food-delivery role in Shanghai industry park
Shanghai-based food-ordering platform ele.me announced on Tuesday that it has been granted a license for delivering food using drones, the first such service in China.
The company has been approved for 17 drone-powered delivery routes, covering about 100 merchants. All the routes are in the Shanghai Jinshan Industrial Park in the southwestern part of the city.
Drones will be able to deliver about 70 percent of the orders, which will cut the target delivery time, ele.me said in a statement sent to the Global Times.
"The launch of drone delivery shows that the future of logistics has become a reality, and it also shows that logistics is shifting from a labor-intensive sector to one that is technology-powered," Kang Jia, the company's chief operating officer, said in the statement.
At the moment, deliveries are promised within 30 minutes, but the use of drones will shorten the time to 20 minutes, Kang noted.
Ele.me has also been rolling out food delivery robots in China, which are expected to serve 500 office buildings in some cities this year, the company said.
Ele.me's drones made their debut at a global unmanned systems conference in September 2017.
The drones' top flight speed is 65 kilometers per hour, carrying up to 6 kilograms, according to domestic news site sina.com.cn. When they're fully loaded, they can travel 20 kilometers.