Pioneer Warns that Australia is lagging in the Global Race for Commercializing Drones

Matthew Sweeny, the renowned Australian commercial drone pioneer, who aims to make the airborne goods and services delivery mainstream by the end of the year through his startup has sent out a warning to politicians and regulators in Canberra.

He has stated that the emergence of drone based deliveries is highly imminent, and that the lack of adequate innovation in Australia would mean that the country would lose out on capitalizing a new technology based industry that is set to become mainstream in the near future: “Imagine if a country was slow to embrace the internet, or slow to embrace the personal computer, or slow to embrace the smartphone.”

The change in delivery services can be attributed to a growing demand from companies that are looking for new ways to push delivery services in exceedingly short periods of time, for all sorts of products including consumer goods or emergency medical devices, or fast food. This trend is expected to boost economic growth in the country, while also creating lucrative tech based jobs.

Drones to Eat into ‘Last Mile’ Operations

Mr. Sweeney said: “There’s now regulatory arbitrage and the countries that are moving faster from a regulatory perspective are attracting the first movers.” Among these fast moving companies is Flirtey, which became the first company in the world to win approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority for deliveries, surpassing rivals such as companies supported by Amazon and Google.

This week, Mr. Sweeney also revealed the Eagle drone by Flirtey, which he claims would deliver packages to customers in lesser time that what is required to empty out a dishwasher. The Eagle drone model is developed to launched from a high-tech platform, which can be set up by local businesses in a space equivalent to a lone parking lot.

The aircraft developed by the company are claimed to be capable of operating in varying weather conditions even up to 95 per cent wind, and will capture approximately 75 per cent of package delivery operations, that are currently driven in the last mile to consumer households.