Wing, a subsidiary of Alphabet that develops the technology of drone-based delivery of freight, has been building a network of speedy drone delivery services. Now, the company is preparing to reach a new milestone and estimates that it will surpass the 100,000 customer delivery mark in the next few days. The news comes on the second anniversary of the service’s pilot launch in Logan, Australia – a neighbor of Brisbane with a population of 300,000.
Wing currently operates in the United States, Finland, and Australia and appears to have found particular success in the Australian city of Logan, one of the country’s largest with more than 110,000 inhabitants. In the last eight months, Logan residents have ordered and received more than 50,000 deliveries directly to their homes by Wing delivery drones.
In its official blog post, Wing details that Logan residents ordered almost 4,500 deliveries in the first week of August alone. This means that a Logan resident on average received a drone delivery nearly once every 30 seconds during Wing service hours.
Through its drone technology, it was possible to deliver to the inhabitants of the Australian city more than 10,000 cups of fresh barista-made coffee in the last year, to which are added more than 1,700 packs of snacks and even more than 1,200 hot chooks (that’s Australian for roasted chicken). This is a significant achievement for a technology that has yet to prove its utility on a large scale.
The basis of everything is drone technology developed by the company. Its drones have 12 vertical rotors and two wings and can fly like an airplane and take off or land like a helicopter. The drones have a range of six miles – limited by their battery life – which means the trips are fairly short, so there’s not a lot of issue with foodstuffs staying hot or cold, in spite of the package being transported outside the drone. The company says its drones can carry up to three pounds (1.3 kg) of packages, and the system has had no issues carrying extremely fragile objects like eggs.
The drones fly to their destination, descend to a height of 23 feet (seven meters), and lower their goods to the ground and unhook it.
According to the company, if you combine the hundreds of thousands of test flights with deliveries, it’s close to half a million flights over the past four or five years.