Published: Fri, April 12, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Google Launches First Commercial Drone Delivery Service, in Australia

Google Launches First Commercial Drone Delivery Service, in Australia

Project Wing, a venture of Google's parent company Alphabet, was on Tuesday given the green light to begin full operations in Canberra by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

Drone deliveries have been the subject of many a flashy promo video over the years, but until now, they haven't been available for everyone to use whenever they want.

Australia's aviation authority has granted approval for a world-first drone delivery system to take to the skies in the nation's capital city Canberra.

Wing was spun out of Alphabet's X research division in July a year ago to become an independent company within Alphabet and is part of the Other Bets division.

The first drone delivery was launched by Amazon in 2013 but it has enjoyed limited success. At launch, only 100 homes in the new suburbs of Crace, Franklin, and Palmerston will be eligible with Wing adding additional households in Harrison and Gungahlin after that. The service will be expanded to more customers in the coming weeks.

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Wing's development of its drones has prioritised safety and performance.

There are conditions attached: the drones can only fly at certain times, they can't fly over main roads, and they need to stay at a safe distance from people.

The company will be delivering a number of items including fresh food, hot coffee or over-the-counter chemist items. Customers getting the drone delivery service will also have to receive a safety briefing about interacting with drones. According to another resident, around 80% of the people living in the suburb were opposed to the presence of the drones. The drones will only be allowed to fly during the day and not before 08:00 AEST at the weekend.

Furthermore, it is suggested that Wing will continue to work with local policymakers, regulators and more to further enhance the service.

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