The startup air delivery service Wing, a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet, has launched a drone-based commercial delivery service in Australia.
"Our service allows customers to order a range of items such as fresh food, hot coffee or over-the-counter chemist items on our mobile app, and have them delivered directly to their homes by drone in minutes," Wing wrote in a press release Monday.
The company launched the air delivery service earlier this week to residents in Crace, Palmerston and Franklin, which are suburbs in North Canberra. Next month, the service is expected to expand into Harrison and Gungahlin suburbs.
Wing partnered with local business in the Gungahlin area, so that merchants can utilize the quick delivery service to reach more customers per day. Some of those partners include Kickstart Expresso, Capital Chemist, Pure Gelato, Jasper + Myrtle, Bakers Delight, Guzman Y Gomez, and Drummond Golf.
Last month, we reported that Wing was "on the verge of launching" its new service. The company tested drones over Bonython, a suburb of Tuggeranong, a township in southern Canberra for about a year. During the trial, the drones delivered food, small household items more than 3,000 times to Australian homes.
The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority granted Wing licenses to operate commercial drones after the agency reviewed all flight records and operational plans.
However, many Australians are not too enthusiastic about drones flying above. Some residents earlier this year told law enforcement that they would shoot the drones out of the sky.
Despite dozens of complaints from residents, government officials have asked Wing to reduce the decibel level of the drones so that they don't startle residents.
"When they do a delivery drop they hover over the site and it sounds like an extremely loud, squealing vacuum cleaner," Bonython Against Drones said on its website. The Australian aviation authority ordered Wing to modify its drone's propellers and engines to reduce noise for quieter deliveries. New regulations have limited drone deliveries on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
“The feedback we have received during the trials has been valuable, helping us to refine our operations to better meet the needs and expectations of the communities in which we operate,” Wing stated.
Wing has said drone deliveries could add $28.5 million to Australia’s annual revenue at its full capacity this year.
In the next 3 to 5 years, drone deliveries could revolutionize supply chain management and transportation planning for the last mile. Google and Amazon have been capturing the headlines with its drones, but other companies are developing their own drone delivery programs. This includes global corporations like Walmart, DHL, and UPS.
Video: Google Drones Can Already Deliver You Coffee in Australia