Wing, the drone delivery company owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, has launched its first public drone delivery service in Canberra, Australia after the Australian government’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) granted it regulatory approval.
However, the approval has several conditions attached. The drones will only be allowed to fly during the day and not before 08:00 AEST at the weekend. They will not be allowed to fly over crowds or main roads.
Wing’s drones deliver small packages which are lowered into the customer’s garden on a length of string. Around 100 homes in the suburbs of Crace, Palmerston, and Franklin will initially have access to the service, but in the coming months the company plans to expand it to homes in Harrison and Gungahlin.
The company website states: “Wing envisions a future where drone delivery is the safest, fastest and most environmentally friendly mode of transport, and everyone can benefit from having small items available to them in just minutes, at home or wherever they may be.”
The company launched in 2012 with the goal of radically improving delivery. “We believed that if people could access items when and where they need them, they could live a higher quality of life, with more choice and freedom.
“We began building an aircraft to deliver defibrillators to heart attack victims, with the hope that lives could be saved if the devices arrived faster by air, but we quickly learned that drone technology would first need to be proven exceedingly reliable and dependable through years of development and testing. We also believed it would be important to deliver a wider range of benefits to communities, such as reduced traffic congestion and a cleaner environment.”
Wing has have been honing its technology in Australia since 2014, trialling a system to conveniently transport small packages quickly. “For the past 18 months, we’ve been trialling in the customer experience of drone delivery with residents in ACT and NSW, partnering with businesses to provide food and drinks, over-the-counter chemist items, and locally-made coffee and chocolate.”