Several Israeli companies have joined the government-led initiative to ease traffic congestion.

Over the next two years, Israeli drone operating companies will conduct test flights throughout the country for one week each month. (B.Y. Creative & Productions)

A network of large drones – many of which are operated by Technion alums – have taken to the skies as the country prepares its national airspace for air taxi transportation and deliveries.

The Israel National Drone Initiative (INDI) – a two-year, NIS 60 million government-led pilot project – was established in 2019 to fly passengers and heavy cargo to reduce congestion on Israel’s busy roads.

Eleven drone companies were involved in the experimental flights this week, including:

  • Cando Drones. Its fully autonomous two-seater air taxi has been developed to carry passengers up to 220kg for up to 30km. CTO Moshe Kipnis and CFO Alon Zabuski are both alumni of the Technion.
  • Airways Drones. A provider of AI-based systems for the smart management of drone fleets. Investor, Oded Agam and Advisory Board Member, Yosef Fryszer, are alumni of the Technion.
  • Robotican. A developer of ground and air-based mobile autonomous robotic systems. Chief Scientist Amir Shapiro and Business Development Director, Eli Ben-Aharon, are both alumni of the Technion.

The INDI initiative is developing a “system of aerial routes in the sky” to allow different types of drones to fly simultaneously for various purposes, such as healthcare, commerce, security and passenger transportation.

Transportation Minister, Miri Regev, said: “This is the first initiative of its kind in the world for an extensive and multidisciplinary examination of new technologies, including the transportation of cargo and, later, people. The collaborative project examines all the aspects – including regulation and legislative changes – involved in the commercial operation of drones as an additional tool to deal with congestion.”

Over the next two years, the participating companies in the INDI initiative will continue to conduct flights throughout the country in controlled airspace.