Israel wants to develop a national drone AI control system

Israel's delivery drones trial drone AI control

As drones fill Israel’s skies in the urban air mobility latest trial, news has been shared that the country wants to develop a national AI system in the next two years. The country hopes the system will control and manage all of the drones in the air from a central control room.

The Israel Urban Air Mobility Initiative is running the trial under the Israel Innovation Authority. Ayalon Highways, a state-owned highway builder in the country, created the Transportation Ministry, Civil Aviation Authority, and the Alternative Fuels Administration and Smart Mobility Initiative.

Eyal Zor, CEO and cofounder of Airwayz, a participating company, shared:

“I think it is one of the first worldwide drone experiments that test multiple drone operations over the urban skies. In two years, we will start seeing hundreds and hopefully, thousands of drones flying over our heads across cities with food deliveries, medicine supply, and industrial deliveries.”

At any one time, there will be 20 drones in the air flying no higher than 400 feet above the ground, with a required spacing of at least 200 feet between each other.

The first phase of the trials will see each drone provider fly in a small designated area to ensure the drones work fine independently. All the drones from all the companies will then join forces and fly in one area together. During this phase, it is expected that the drones will complete around 300 flights per day.

Hagit Lidor of the Israel Innovation Authority shared:

“This is an opportunity for the regulators to learn what is needed to establish delivery drones as a daily reality and for the drone operators to learn what is expected of them in turn. For the first time, we are managing airspace as a single entity, synthesizing drone operators with established civil and military aviation.”

Eight companies have been chosen to work with the government on the trial, providing everything from drones to software platforms. The companies are High Lander Aviation, Cando Drones, HarTech Technologies, CopterPix, Simplex Mapping, Down Wind, Airways Drones, and F.T.

These above-mentioned companies will receive around $1.8 million from the Innovation Authority to cover about half of the tests’ costs. The rest of the money will come from Ayalon Highways and the drone companies themselves.

All of the drones’ data will be streamed to a central platform that will ensure the drones are sticking to the correct route and don’t get in the way of the other drones. If these tests go well, they will likely play a role in the future of drone deliveries and allow the government to create better-suited laws.

Photo: Ronen Zvulun

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