- First drone delivery service launches in Reykjavik, Iceland.
- The launch is a joint venture between autonomous drone company Flytrex and AHA, Iceland's largest online marketplace.
- Service aimed to reduce delivery times and cut costs.
The world's first operational drone delivery service has launched in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Shoppers in the Icelandic capital will now be able to receive food and other goods direct to their doors via an autonomous flying vehicle, which providers say will significantly speed up delivery times.
The coastal city is subdivided by a large bay and several smaller rivers which make the transportation of goods both time-consuming and cumbersome.
"We're making delivery as instant as ordering," said Yariv Bash, chief executive and co-founder of Flytrex, the autonomous drone company behind the launch.
The service is currently available to consumers using AHA, Iceland's largest online marketplace, though the pair also hope to eventually roll it out overseas.
The launch marks a feat for businesses and advocates of the unmanned delivery technology. So far AHA has reported a 60 percent reduction in drone delivery costs versus land and sea alternatives. It also claims to have reduced transportation time by up to 20 minutes during peak hours.
It follows regulatory approval from the Icelandic Transport Authority, which claims the service will also improve road safety.
"The drones will reduce the load on the transport infrastructure leading to safer roads. Simultaneously people have access to a better and faster delivery service which can only be seen as an advantage."
However, critics argue that such services could be dangerous and pose threats to privacy and security.