Alphabet launches its Wing drone delivery service in Australia

Alphabet launches its Wing drone delivery service in Australia

Alphabet launches its Wing drone delivery service in Australia

Wing, the company that's an offshoot of Google's parent company Alphabet, has been trialling the technology over the past 18 months, making a whopping 3,000 deliveries to needy people. The Australian aviation authority ordered Wing to develop quieter drones for its deliveries.

'They used a drone to deliver ice cream to a 5-year-old boy in his backyard, ' he said at the Singapore conference.

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".

Approval has been granted with "strict conditions", including daylight-only operating hours; the drones are banned from crossing major roads, and must maintain a minimum distance from people on the ground. 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.

Wing says is plans to expand both its serviced locations and the number of businesses it works with "in the coming weeks and months". Customers getting the drone delivery service will also have to receive a safety briefing about interacting with drones.

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The drones are automated, and a licensed pilot is at the helm all the time, but by using machine learning they can choose a drop zone on their own, away from obstacles like trees, buildings, and power lines.

On the weekends they can not fly until after 8am.

"Wing strongly believes that by working together with local policymakers, regulators, and communities, we can improve access to services, open up new economic opportunities, and better connect our cities", said the firm.

Wing said the feedback obtained during its trials had been "valuable" and it hoped to "continue the dialogue".

Google's Wing unit is not alone is trying to make drone deliveries a reality.

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