Google Wing launches first commercial drone delivery service

Andrew Cummings
April 12, 2019

Wing will be rolled out across Franklin, Crace and Palmerston, with plans to add two more suburbs in the next few months.

Customers of Wing's local partners can use its mobile app to order items such as fresh food, coffee and over-the-counter medicines for direct delivery in minutes by drone. Despite complaints from residents over noise from drone flights, the agency has allowed Wing to test the service since 2014, concluding that the drones pose no risk to residents or other aircraft.

Wing, a company spun out of Alphabet's secret research laboratory X, has been testing its delivery services for the last 18 months in Australia and the United States in a race to find new ways of delivering goods by drone while reducing urban traffic congestion.

The drones are banned from crossing over major roads and there's a minimum distance they have to maintain from people on the ground.

The first drone delivery was launched by Amazon in 2013 but it has enjoyed limited success. The service will be expanded to more customers in the coming weeks.

Wing has been testing its drones in the region for the past year and a half, and according to CASA the flying machines have "satisfied us that their operation meets an acceptable level of safety".

Wing has also uploaded a video showing a testimonial from a woman who has participated in the drone delivery trials.

Following approval from the Australia air safety regulator the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), Wing will shortly commence delivery to 5 new suburbs of Canberra. The drones will only be allowed to fly during the day and not before 08:00 AEST at the weekend.

Wing had said in December it would launch its first European delivery service in Finland in the spring of 2019. We look forward to continuing this dialogue with the Canberra community as we expand Wing's service.

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