Civilian drones invade Israel's airspace

Civilian drones invade Israel's airspace

An Israeli project aims to use drone technology in delivery services.

Civilian drones also raise security concerns
Tel Aviv - Israel is working to keep pace with technological development and adapt it to serve all vital sectors, in addition to the military side, to the extent that it has become one of the major pioneers in the drone market, in light of its security concerns. But this time, it is preparing to use the technology of drones in delivery services, especially the delivery of food and drinks as well as medical equipment, while companies provide their long experience in this field to avoid accidents after the atmosphere became crowded.

The project, which represents a public-private initiative worth 20 million shekels (about $6 million), is supervised by the Israeli company “High Lander” that specializes in controlling drones, and the “Cando” company, which works with customers to develop strategies for these drones.

“Controlling a single drone is not a problem,” says Highlander CEO Alon Abelson, while this project is based on “many drones… sourced from different manufacturers but monitored by our software to make sure there are no crashes between them.” “.

Daniela Bartim, who oversees the drone initiative at the Israel Innovation Authority, expects thousands of drones to fly simultaneously in crowded cities, transporting medical supplies or contributing to police missions and speeding up meal deliveries.

“Our goal is to create a competitive market in Israel that is not controlled by a single company,” Bartim says.

The official believes that "if we can remove cars from the roads and thus affect traffic and reduce air pollution ... we can provide a better and safer environment for the delivery of goods."

Drone expert and professor of politics at the University of Pennsylvania, Michael Horowitz, believes that Israel is making “civilian counterparts” for military drones that are getting smaller and can move and strike simultaneously.

Michael Horowitz: Manufacturing drones restores Israel's market share

Recently, a group of Israeli companies have also developed defense systems that they say can detect or destroy incoming aircraft. “There is a lot of knowledge that has been gained in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles, which is something that the military has had to deal with for a long time,” said Ben Nasi, a researcher at Israel's Ben-Gurion University specializing in drones.

But Israel's military drone program has been criticized, especially by Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip, who say the drones create fear and harm civilians.

In the field of commercial drones, Horowitz says, Israel can offer a new approach to companies that want to develop their technologies on their own, and adds, "We often see companies like Google that want to oversee their systems."

"If an Israeli company develops an effective command and control system for drones at the local level that can include drones for many different companies, I imagine that many parties will be interested in this product," Horowitz asserts.

He points out that advances in civilian drones could help Israel regain market share while its competitors China and Turkey reduce their share in the field of military drones.

Abelson notes that he has clients all over the world including Japan, South Korea, France, the United States, Israel and African countries.

The Brazilian company, Speedbird Aero, uses the services of the Highlander. The CEO of the company, Manuel Coelho, says that he used the "Highlander" to "manage the airspace" because "it was one of the first companies in the world to do so in an organized way." Other projects between the two companies are still in the testing phase.

On a grassy area along the beach in Tel Aviv, three drones hovered over the glass skyscrapers, their propellers buzzing as they descended on the platforms. These drones are currently satisfied with training missions.

Hadas Aharoni, of the controller for the drone company, Airways, watches dozens of drones overhead in the northern city of Hadera as she sits in a control room overlooking the busy Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv.

"We can see the paths of the drones at their take-off and landing, their altitude, the placement of their batteries, and all the problems that we need to solve to get these planes to their destination," said Aharoni, 22.(Michael Horowitz: Manufacturing drones restores Israel's market share)

"We are checking the durability of this system in anticipation of increased flight programs in the future," the young woman added.

This field has become of interest to Israeli companies, as the "Golda" ice cream company has opened a branch on the seashore in Tel Aviv. And customers of the Israeli company can get ice cream using a drone after using the QR code.

"You can get your order in less than ten minutes, which is impossible with regular cars," says Marketing Director Talia Mardier.

Mardier expects change will happen once this spreads and people realize the added value of the service.
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