Chinese e-tailer JD.com has completed its first government-approved drone flight in Indonesia, marking a breakthrough for drone delivery in Southeast Asia.
The successful pilot opens the door for future commercial drone use in Indonesia and the Southeast Asia region, subject to further regulatory approvals. Representatives from Indonesia’s Ministry of Transportation, Civil Aviation and Air Navigation were all in attendance for the test flight.
The drone flew from Jagabita Village, West Java, to MIS Nurul Falah Leles Elementary School to deliver backpacks and books to students. The items delivered by drone were part of a larger donation of supplies from JD.com to the school.
JD.com and its joint-venture partner JD.ID were early movers in bringing high quality e-commerce to Indonesia. JD.ID, which launched e-commerce operations in 2016, serves more than 20 million consumers across the country. Its operations leverage a logistics network consisting of 10 warehouses across seven islands, covering 483 cities and 6,500 counties. Given the fact that the country is 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.
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.”
JD.com is a strategic partner of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and a partner of the organization’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR). The C4IR is a global hub for multi-stakeholder cooperation to develop policy frameworks and advance collaborations that accelerate the benefits of science and technology.
Leveraging drone technology to deliver supplies to areas in need is a high priority on the C4IR’s agenda. WEF and JD have been working closely together to ensure the success of the pilot in Indonesia.
Timothy Reuter, head of drones and tomorrow’s airspace, WEF, 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.”
To watch a video of the drone test flight in West Java, click here.