iFood gets approval for first drone-assisted food delivery service in Latam

LatamListiFood, the Brazilian food delivery giant, gained regulatory approval for the first drone-assisted food delivery in Latin America. The company will be the first in Latin America to use drones in food delivery services.

Brazil’s ANAC (National Civil Aviation Agency) fully approved the scheme, which is designed to boost logistics efficiency by using self-flying Speedbird Aero drones. 

ANAC approved two delivery routes in Campinas, a Brazilian city to the northwest of São Paulo.

“Drone-assisted air transportation for civilian applications such as food delivery is now very technically sound, after many years of innovation and advancements,” said Samuel Salomão, founder of Speedbird Aero. 

Speedbird Aero is the first Latin American company to develop drones for transportation purposes. They are designed specifically for cargo transportation, with a capacity of up to two kg and a flight speed of 25 miles/hour. The drones are also fitted with a cool box to maintain the temperature of goods during transport.

The drone routes will connect two iFood Hubs with a food court and a condominium complex, cutting transportation by more than half. The drones will not replace ground transport completely, but reduce transport times in certain parts of the journey. The final leg will be performed by delivery partners on motorcycles, bicycles, scooters, or electric bikes. 

“We’ll use the data and insights we gather from the use of drones within the first two approved routes to further increase the efficiency of our delivery logistics by significantly cutting out ground transportation time,” said Roberto Gandolfo, Vice President for Logistics at iFood.

iFood and Speedbird Aero are leading the way in logistics innovation in Latin America, but also in North America where there has only been limited testing for drone food delivery.

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