After numerous test flights since 2014, Wing, the drone delivery company owned by Alphabet’s Google launched its first public drone delivery service in Canberra, Australia.
The drone will deliver food, coffee, and medicine to 100 homes in the suburbs of Crace, Palmerston, and Franklin Canberra before expanding to homes in Harrison and Gungahlin.
However, the regulatory approval comes with a couple of restrictions. The drone can only work between 7am and 8pm from Monday to Friday and between 8am-8pm on Sundays. They cannot fly over the main road and too close to people. Customers expecting packages from drones will also receive safety briefing about interacting with the drones.
During its years on testing, many residents in Bonython and Canberra complained about the noise and intrusion. The group against Drones campaign complained that the noise could be heard from a far distance. “When they do a delivery drop, they hover over the site, and it sounds like an extremely loud, squealing vacuum cleaner,” the group said as feedback on its website.
Wing said all the feedback from the residents and the campaign group had been helpful as they have developed a quieter drone which will not intrude human and aircraft activities.
It is reported that the aviation authority granted a license to the drone company examining its safety records to ensure that its operation within the country posed no risks to the residents.
Wing predicts that by 2030, many businesses in the area will resort to having drones handle their deliveries-at least, a drone will deliver one in four takeaway orders.
Business Insider reports that Wing’s launch is likely to be the world’s first, making Google’s drone ahead of Amazon in the drone business. Amazon is yet to launch commercially, despite the number of “high profile” trial deliveries in the US and UK. Nevertheless, Amazon is not the only competitor offering drone deliveries. Amazon said last year that company was still committed to drone delivery of packages in 30 minutes a reality. Flytrex, an Isreali startup, began its logistics in Iceland, while UPS partnered with Matternet to deliver medical supplies with drones in North Carolina.