What we thought was only science fiction a couple of decades ago is slowly becoming a reality as we walk towards a future with smart cities, autonomous cars, and, of course, autonomous delivery drones flying over our heads. During the last year, we have seen great advancements regarding drone delivery, and the trend continues with partnerships like the one between Skyports and Flock to deliver a custom insurance program.

To quickly transport medical products, dispatch packages to logistics hubs or directly to customers, and speed up logistics operations, Skyports is developing, implementing and operating end-to-end drone deliveries globally. The company is currently working in North America, Africa, Asia, and Europe, including London where it owns vertiports on 15 sites so far - which is where Flock comes in.

Founded in 2015, Flock is using Big Data to quantify, intelligently price, and mitigate drone flight risks in real-time, providing drone pilots with fairer insurance pricing tailored to individual risk profiles. Since the launch of Flock Cover, Europe’s first Pay-as-you-fly drone insurance mobile app geared towards drone SMEs, and Flock Enterprise, Flock has insured over 3,000 commercial drones businesses, and analyzed over 1,000,000 flight paths.

“We have one of the most in-depth understandings of urban air mobility risks in the world, and are able to leverage an enormous amount of data to benefit our customers and open up the UK’s skies for safe, fully insured drone deliveries,” Ed Leon Klinger, CEO of Flock told Commercial UAV News. “Our mission is to make the world a smarter and safer place. This means we don’t just provide passive insurance documents to our customers; we actively work with them to analyze flights and provide guidance on how to better mitigate their own risks.”

Urban Air Mobility (UAM) is one of the most prominent subjects in the drone industry, especially since the required safety precautions to fly autonomous drones over cities and people not only help to shape and evolve rules and regulations, including the development of a UTM, but also the technology itself. When it comes to allowing automated drones to fly over people, safety is paramount. This is why uniting Flock’s capabilities to combine ‘user data’, such as the amount of commercial experience a pilot has with real-time data collected from the environment at the time of take-off, with Skyports’ drove delivery experience could mark an important milestone for the future of UAM.

"When we consider the challenge of drone deliveries in dense urban environments, these risks could include a number of factors. From unpredictable urban gusts around skyscrapers, to the dangers of flying in close proximity to a school or a transport hub at rush-hour,” Klinger said. “Our unique approach to real-time insurance will enable [Skyports] to capitalize on granular risk insights to proactively mitigate flight risks, improve safety standards across their fleets, and reduce their insurance premiums.”

Additionally, Skyports and Volocopter, the developer of the world’s first air-taxi, are working on the deployment of VoloPorts, the first full-scale passenger air taxi vertiport and viable air taxi routes, across Singapore. The company claims 2023 will be the year of the first commercial passenger flights in major cities around the world and expects to see 100,000 operational passenger drones by 2050.

According to a recent whitepaper from Flock, the drone industry could become a $100 billion market globally by 2020.