China’s largest retailer JD.com has paved the way for drone deliveries in Southeast Asia with the completion of the first government-approved drone flight in Indonesia.
According to a company press release, the successful pilot took place on 8 January in West Java, flying from Jagabita Village, Parung Panjang to MIS Nurul Falah Leles Elementary School to deliver backpacks and books to students. Thanks to its success, it is thought it will pave the way for future flights within Southeast Asia, subject to regulatory approvals.
While the successful flight was announced during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, the company stated in a press release that due to the country being spread out across many islands, the “implementation of drones for regular use in e-commerce deliveries, as well as other logistics-related services, will enable citizens in Indonesia to enjoy more efficient and reliable services, and help JD.ID realize its goal of being able to deliver 85% of orders same- or next-day.”
Jon Liao, Chief Strategy Officer at JD.com, said, “It is a privilege to have contributed to this important moment in Indonesia’s history.
“We have been using drones for real deliveries in China for over two years now, and have seen the profound impact that the technology can have on people’s lives around the country. We look forward to working closely with WEF and the Indonesian government to realize the full potential of this technology, and provide more convenience to Indonesian citizens.”
Speaking of the trial, Timothy Reuter, Head of Drones and Tomorrow’s Airspace at the World Economic Forum, said, “This trial represents the first government approved drone delivery operation in Indonesian history.
“These tests are an opportunity for Indonesia to become a leader in the Southeast Asia region by leveraging drone delivery to improve access to vital medical, humanitarian, and commercial goods in remote areas.”