Google's drone delivery service takes off in Australia

Credit Wing

Credit Wing

They can deliver food, over-the-counter drugs and coffee, but only during daytime and without flying over major roads, according to The Guardian.

The drone-delivery venture owned by Wing has allowed Google to defeat Amazon, which had claimed that it would ready its drone delivery service by 2018.

Project Wing (sometimes referred to as just Wing) has previously tested direct-to-consumer drone delivery at places like Virginia Tech in 2016, but this is the first time that the company has won government approval for relatively large-scale deliveries anywhere in the world.

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 U.S. in a race to find new ways of delivering goods by drone while reducing urban traffic congestion.

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The company says most deliveries can be completed in six to 10 minutes.

Drone deliveries are gaining popularity around the globe.

"Our drones map the best route to a designated location using our unmanned traffic management platform (UTM), which manages the drones' flight path from take-off to landing, making sure they plan routes around each other, buildings, trees, or anything else that might be in the way". Products are lowered from the drone by a string to the front yard of paying customers who live in the capital's northern suburbs of Crace, Palmerston and Franklin. Instead, Wing teamed up with Mexican food chain Guzman Y Gomez and pharmaceutical retailer Chemist Warehouse for some advanced trials in October 2017.

Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority granted the project regulatory approval, after an 18 month trial which involved 3,000 deliveries. That selection of companies will expand in the future.

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