AirMatrix, a Canadian company that specializes in building and designing air space routes for autonomous aircraft, announced today their work with the Region of Waterloo; partnering to test a network of drone skyways and a traffic management platform.
Trials of the drone skyway grid have already begun in the Region of Waterloo with the delivery of medicine to homes and long-term care facilities facilitated by the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy, Hogan Pharmacy and PeopleCare. Transport Canada supported the trials with supervision of the first flights.
“With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, drone usage has accelerated further,” said Shayaan Haider, cofounder at AirMatrix. “There has never been a better time to focus on innovative contactless services, like drone delivery, to stop the spread of the virus, as well as ensure those with mobility issues get the care they deserve.”
“We’re interested to see the outcome of the testing AirMatrix has undertaken using their flight path technology,” said Karen Redman, Regional Chair of the Region of Waterloo. “The outcome of this work will help shape the drone ecosystem in our country in the future, which is why supporting a neighbouring start-up made sense for the Region.”
“The next major transportation revolution is here – and we need to be ready to deploy drones safely, in large numbers. At a more rapid pace than with airplanes, the airspace for drones is becoming crowded, making it difficult to scale autonomous flights safely,” said Bashir Khan, CEO at AirMatrix. “This is where AirMatrix comes in. We build milliliter-precise skyways to ensure drone traffic stays organized, safe, and under control in tight urban spaces.”
“Healthcare is very dynamic right now, and drone-delivery is an effective way to get medication to those who need it and minimize person-to-person contact. Watching it arrive from out of the sky, land and have healthcare staff retrieve the medication was remarkable,” said Nancy Waite Associate Director, University of Waterloo.
In the next few weeks, other companies will be kicking off drone flights with AirMatrix’s skyway network in the Region of Waterloo. This will allow companies to test their own use cases such as emergency first response, contactless delivery, telecommunications, and infrastructure inspection, to ultimately expand the use of drones in Waterloo Region.
- Benefits of the AirMatrix deployment to City:
- Create a safe and efficient infrastructure ready for the drone surge.
- Gain the ability to control, monitor, and regulate the new sky roads.
- Attract private enterprises that wish to deploy drones as part of their operations. These enterprises encompass package/food delivery and logistics, medical/pharmaceutical delivery (e.g. pathology labs), infrastructure inspection, telecommunications, and first responders.
- Benefits of the AirMatrix deployment to Enterprises:
- Accelerate their drone deployment strategy by utilizing a live ecosystem to test and fine-tune their business model.
- Heighten safety as flight operators can focus on their use cases while AirMatrix’s traffic management system manages other users simultaneously in the same air space, interoperably.
- Keeps control of the entire fleet. Users can plan, track, control, and coordinate multiple drones from one simple interface.
AirMatrix enables cities to take control of their skies, while accelerating the commercialization of drone use cases through their millimetre-precise drone roads and platform for autonomous traffic management. AirMatrix is a Canadian technology company affiliated with Communitech, MaRS and DMZ. AirMatrix is an industry leader that has spoken at conferences such as at Unmanned Systems Canada and the World of Drones Congress. They are a member of Transport Canada action team on drone traffic management, and sit on the Standards Council of Canada committee on drones, in coordination with the National Research Council, as well as the NASA Transformative Vertical Flight Working Group.
Alexandra McCalla – COO, AirMatrix
Laura Philippe – Communications Coordinator, Region of Waterloo
Alana Rigby – Communications Specialist, University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy