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Last Updated : Oct 21, 2019 03:59 PM IST | Source:

Dropped from the sky! Google-owned start-up Wind begins package delivery using drones in the US

The company had already started test deliveries in Australia, but last week’s flight was its first commercial delivery in the US.

Representational Image
Representational Image

Wing, a start-up owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, had got a nod from US authorities to use drones for commercial deliveries earlier this year.

The company becomes the first drone company to get the approval of federal authorities despite Amazon’s Prime Air apprising concerned bodies about their drone plans years ago, in 2013.

UPS has also got the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval to operate delivery drones. The company is currently testing drones at WakeMed’s hospital campus before getting fully on board with commercial delivery.


Meanwhile, Wing has partnered with FedEx, Walgreens, and a local gift shop to carry out their test flights in Virginia. Residents of the town where they are conducting test flights, can now order from a list of 100 products via Walgreens and get them delivered to them by drones.

According to a TechCrunch report, the first Walgreens drone delivery was a cough and cold medicine, while the first FedEx package delivered contained sports equipment.

Susie Sensmeier, 81, was fairly amused when a drone dropped a purple winter vest she had ordered, to her front yard. She said: “I didn’t think I would live that long or it wouldn’t come in my lifetime, I’m thrilled.”

The company had already started test deliveries in Australia, but last week’s flight was its first commercial delivery in the US.

Wing’s distribution centre is in Christiansburg, and the drones will soon start to make deliveries to addresses within a radius of 6.5 km therefrom. These delivery drones can fly for 19 kms at the moment, but the Google start-up plans to expand its ambit in the future.

James Ryan Burgess, CEO, Wing, stated that drones will reduce carbon emission and has the capability of becoming the environment-friendly alternative to usual deliveries made by trucks. Moreover, it can speed up the process too, as sometimes, drones can make deliveries within minutes of ordering.

He added: “We’re looking at trends in cities including congestion and environmental sustainability. We see drone deliveries as a key part of solutions to these.”

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First Published on Oct 21, 2019 03:59 pm
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