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Israel’s National Drone Initiative has launched the fourth phase of its pilot program, which this time will include night operations as well as flights in which cargo will be delivered directly via winches to the end customer.

The initiative which began flights over urban areas in January 2021 is taking the next step with new and challenging missions and widens the operational envelope for drone technology civilian uses.

For two weeks, flights will take place day and night above Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area and Yerucham, in order to integrate the use of drones in routine activities such as transportation of basic products, first aid; deploying a drone attached to a vehicle for real-time monitoring of traffic movement with AI-based elements that can provide forecasts, and much more.

Eyal Bilia, Ayalon Highways Acting Vice President of Technology and Innovation, noted the contribution that drone service can make to traffic and transportation management:

“Research has found that 20 percent of the congestion problems in city centers stem from the movement of small goods. Therefore, the deployment of drones can assist in two ways – through monitoring and analysis and the operational aspect of creating new transportation lanes that will ease the existing congestion while building regulation that will support their ongoing operation in general areas of urban transportation.”

The national initiative, originally a collaboration between Israel Innovation Authority, the Ministry of Transport (through Ayalon Highway company), the Civil Aviation Authority and the Smart Transportation administration, was established in order to advance drone operations for the benefit of the public.

It is designed to help decrease traffic congestion and establish a country-wide aviation network for delivering medications, vaccines, medical tests and equipment, retail market supplies, and more.

The project involves several companies that manage and operate autonomous drone networks: High-Lander Aviation, Cando, Flightops/Simplex Interactive, HarTek Technologies, FlyTech, Airwayz Drone, Skylinx Technologies, Blue White Robotic and Wonder Robotics.