JD warms Indonesia up to drone deliveries with first government-endorsed test flight

The drone delivered a 10kg package of backpacks and books to an Islamic school in West Java.

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JD warms Indonesia up to drone deliveries with first government-endorsed test flight

Today, during the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting, JD.com announced that it has just completed its first drone flight in Indonesia, with government approval.

In that trial on January 8, one of JD’s drones successfully flew carrying a 10kg package containing backpacks and books in the West Java region; from Jagabata village in Parung Panjang to Nurul Falah Islamic School in Leles, a distance of about 5km.

Representatives from Indonesia’s Ministry of Transportation, Civil Aviation and Air Navigation were present.

According to Chief Strategy Officer Jon Liao, JD.com has been implementing drone delivery in China for two years and he believes that this innovation will have a positive impact for Indonesia. “We look forward to working closely with WEF and the Indonesian government to realise the full potential of this technology, and provide more convenience to Indonesian citizens,”  Liao said as quoted in JD’s official blog.

Launched in 2016, JD’s offshoot in Indonesia, JD.id, claims to serve over 20 million customers across the country today. The company believes that since Indonesia is spread out across thousands of islands, using drones for deliveries will enable Indonesians to enjoy faster and more convenient services.

For JD.id, the exercise is a small step laying the groundwork for future commercial drone use in Indonesia. Drone deliveries are part and parcel of JDs vision of being able to deliver 85% of customer orders on the same day or the next day. But there are also potential opportunities in supporting humanitarian efforts like natural disaster relief

With this trial, JD is encouraging Indonesia to adopt the technology and develop favorable policies.

According to JD, WEF’s Timothy Reuter said 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.

JD.com is a strategic partner of WEF and a partner of WEF’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR,) a global hub for multi-stakeholder cooperation to develop policy frameworks and advance collaborations that accelerate the benefits of science and technology. The usage of drones to deliver supplies to areas in need is one of C4IR’s priorities.

Editor: Nadine Freischlad