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I want my own drone, says Johnson


London Mayor Boris Johnson says he would like to have a dedicated drone drop off his shopping

London Mayor Boris Johnson says he would like to have a dedicated drone drop off his shopping

London Mayor Boris Johnson says he would like to have a dedicated drone drop off his shopping

Boris Johnson wants a personal drone to fly across the skies of London and deliver his online shopping.

The London mayor urged the capital's vibrant financial technology sector - dubbed FinTech - to invent a solution to congestion caused by ever-growing numbers of parcel delivery vans.

Mr Johnson issued his challenge at a FinTech launch in Singapore during his six-day tour of the Far East.

He said: "We have a problem, folks - all this internet shopping is leading to a massive increase in white van traffic dropping this stuff off - 45% it's going to go up on London in the next seven years.

"That's going to be terrible for congestion in our city and doubtless the same will be true of Singapore as well.

"I look out at this brilliant audience here today, bulging with ideas, and I ask you possibly to solve it.

"We need a solution... Is it, as I hope, going to be drones? I want to be controlling an app that enables my shopping not only to be click and collect... I want my own personal drone to come and drop it wherever I choose."

Research commissioned by London and Partners ahead of the event showed more than half of senior executives believed London was the best global location for the first technology.

FinTech companies work to make online transactions easier, faster and less expensive in financial services and other businesses.

The Singapore event saw a launch for Startupbootcamp, a London "accelerator" which offers mentoring and advice to new companies.

The Asia accelerator is aimed at building links between London and Singapore.

Nektarios Liolios, the firm's managing director, said: "Over the last 12 months the Startupbootcamp team has visited south east Asia on several occasions.

"We have been impressed by the quality and innovation levels of the start-ups we have encountered.

"Singapore, with its concentration of investors, financial institutions and mentors ... makes an ideal innovation hub."

As well as a speech at the FinTech event, Mr Johnson saw a demonstration of innovative apps, including Vieweet which allows a shopper to browse a store online by virtually walking down aisles and looking at products on the shelf.

The mayor told the audience it offered a solution to his family buying the same food every time it shops - leading to a surplus of value chickpeas.

Vieweet co-founder Domenic Versace said: "Online shopping is largely about picking things off a list.

"It doesn't really engage the consumer in the same way as actually being in a shop. What we're trying to do is bridge that gap.

"Our technology was originally conceived as a tool for the real estate industry but we're demonstrating, with Tesco labs, that it has potential to revolutionise ecommerce too."

PA Media