After a year and a half of trial runs in both the U.S. and Australia, the world’s first commercial drone delivery service will be soaring over the homes of Australian shoppers to deliver goods, Sky News can confirm. The report says this service — named Google Wing — will be operated by Alphabet, the parent company of Google, and will begin flying commercially in Canberra, according to the BBC.
The project will be simply known as Wing and will be an autonomous drone service which is set to deliver food and drinks, as well as “over-the-counter chemist items, and locally made coffee and chocolate.” The aim of the project is to reduce traffic in cities, which could reduce CO2 emissions. It will also help those who live in more rural areas have better access to goods.
After making roughly 3,000 deliveries during its trial period, the green light was given by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). The purpose of the trial was to see whether or not the drones could be trusted to make deliveries and to see if they posed any threat to civilians or flights.
While the drones have been given approval, they must adhere to the strict regulation of only flying during the day and no earlier than 8 a.m. Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) on weekends.
Google Wing says that these drones are powered by an all-electrical system and can fly up to 75 miles per hour (120 kilometers per hour) and that, for the meantime at least, they will need to be operated by a pilot rather than being fully automated.
However, some residents in Canberra have not been too pleased with the drones. Some have made complaints about the noise they make. The Bonython Against Drones group has said the devices can be heard from “a long way off, both coming and leaving.” They said the noise they emit “sounds like an extremely loud, squealing vacuum cleaner.”
Google Wing has listened to any negative comments and has said they’ve developed a much quieter drone which they have been told they must use for commercial purposes. They say they value any feedback and are hoping to “continue the dialogue.”
The project came from Google’s secret X division — formerly known as Google X or “the moonshot factory” — which is where investors and entrepreneurs take part in more ambitious projects which can return many more solutions to the world’s problems. Such projects which came from this division include Google’s self-driving car and a series of balloons sent into the stratosphere for providing floating internet access.