Google’s drone delivery service is coming to the United States. As popular and successful as they have been down under, expect to see the service go online before the end of the year. In fact, the drone delivery service has made their U.S. presence known, with a bigger force ready to start flying.
Google uses Wing drones for its delivery service. The drones are fixed-wing aircraft/drone hybrids that can cruise around 100 feet in the air. They have the ability to carry packages that weigh a little over 2.5 pounds, they have a six-mile delivery radius, and it takes the drone under six minutes to get the package to their customers.
You can take a peek at these drones in action below.
Google’s Wing drones are unique in that they never touch the ground when making their deliveries. As they reach their destination, they drop to around 23 feet, hoover, then lower the package and release it automatically when it reaches the ground. Customers have no contact with the drone, or the package until it releases from the drone.
The jump from same-day or next-day delivery service to drone delivery, near-instant service is huge. Not only must these drones be fast, but they must also be safe. Jonathan Bass, head of communications for Wing, spoke to Forbes about the Wing’s safety and impact on the environment.
“Safety continues to be a top priority—we’re closing in on half a million flights without incident—and the bottom line is that every delivery that is conducted by a 10 lb drone-like Wing’s aircraft, and not a car or truck, makes US communities safer, reduces traffic congestion and emissions.”
Owners of the largest residential drone delivery service in the world, Google has seen its business boom in overwhelming numbers in Australia. Over one weekend in Queensland, Australia, the drone delivery service completed over 100,000 successful deliveries.
If that number isn’t impressive enough, Google reported that from what they had working in 2020 has grown over 500% in 2021, and in the first quarter of 2021, the drone delivery service completed more deliveries than during the entire 2020 year.
The Queensland operation is by far the largest in the world and so far, has delivered to customers 10,000 cups of coffee, 1,000 loaves of bread, 2,700 sushi rolls, and 1,200 hot chooks (Australian’s words for roasted chicken) among other items.
Along with Queensland, Wing is also serving Canberra and Logan in Australia. As far as the United States goes, Google’s drone delivery service currently flies in Christiansburg, VA. The expansion has been planned, but according to Bass, things are going a little slower than anticipated. “…progress in the US has been slower than we would have hoped relative to other countries that we operate in, such as Australia,” Bass noted. “However, we’re optimistic that our permissions to operate in the U.S. will expand to more closely resemble our permissions in other parts of the world in the coming months.”
After Google introduced their drone delivery service to the fine people of Christiansburg, support for the service rose tremendously when they saw the drone in action. The sharp increase in support told Bass what he already knew – people found their service very useful.
While things move at a snail’s pace in the United States, Bass says their goal remains unchanged whether in the U.S. or anywhere else in the world. Fast service that is being helped out by their ability to work with more and more business.
At the moment, Bass claims that Google Wing’s drone delivery service works with over 30 businesses around the globe to quickly deliver their goods to customers. Their partners range from the large (Walgreens) to the smaller grocery stores, hardware stores, bakeries, coffee shops, and other restaurants.
As the technology gets better, don’t look for instant delivery packages to get much bigger. The key here is and continues to be, speed of delivery, especially as it relates to food items. No one wants to get that lukewarm cup of coffee or that mushy sandwich.