Israel announces subsidy plan for R&D of passenger, heavy cargo drones

Israel will provide financial support to technology companies for the development and trials of passenger drones, or “flying cars,” the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) announced on Friday.

The government subsidy, up to 50 percent of research and development expenses, will also be given for the development of heavy cargo drones, referring to those capable of carrying more than 15 kg of goods for tens of kilometers and at a speed of 110 km per hour, according to the IIA, which is responsible for managing Israel’s government support for innovation projects.

This is another phase in the national Israel Urban Air Mobility Initiative, which was launched in early 2021 and works to establish a network of national routes for drone traffic.

As part of the project, testing of drone fast food deliveries has so far been conducted in urban areas, alongside a pilot program to transport medicine and medical equipment inside and between hospitals amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Testing of passenger and heavy cargo drones will be extended to the areas including agricultural spraying, observation, photography, monitoring, surveillance, and rescue, according to the IIA.