Like you, I’ve seen the stories of a drone delivery future. I’ve seen the companies doing tests and spruiking their plans. But I’ll be honest, I’d lost sight of the fact it was all progressing toward reality.
Google-owned Wing has been conducting tests in Canberra for many years now and with 80,000 test flights under their belts in three-years – their real-world delivery program is well underway.
Residents in Canberra’s northern suburbs around Gungahlin are in the Wing delivery zone and we’ve found one resident who’s absolutely loving it.
Claire Grant is a mother of three primary school-aged kids and has been using the Wing delivery service at home.
$9 for a coffee and banana bread delivered to your home? Pretty good stuff.
Of course, during the trial there’s no delivery fee – but even when there is there’s some serious merit to the idea of a drone delivery service.
Claire told EFTM “It’ll be a lifesaver next time the kids are at home sick. I can just get my coffee and lunch dropped off without having to drag them out of the house.”
Any parent knows that when you’re home alone with the kids you can’t just duck out to grab something at the shops without dragging all the kids with you. And it’s all pretty immediate too. 10 minutes for a coffee – less for everything else.
Wing says their fastest delivery has been two minutes and fourty-seven seconds.
And it’s not just Coffee, Claire tells us there’s “heaps” of options “Bakers Delight, Guzman & Gomez, A Muesli place, Krofne Donuts, supermarket goods (Milk, Toilet Paper etc), Chemist items like Baby Wipes“
And if you’re in the backyard practising your putting, there’s Golf Supplies too:)
Well – from the user perspective, how great is being able to call for Coffee and Donuts when people come around?
Also great for when people pop over – so good to have coffee and donuts etc dropped off in minutes.
Yes, you could call Uber Eats, the other modern-day home delivery service or one of the many similar services going around. But. In this day and age, do we need more congestion on the road?
Wing says “Our all-electric aircraft emits zero pollution as it flies above roadways and traffic.” A statement aimed at those among us who are environmentally conscious as well as giving consideration to the traffic on our roads.
For Claire, we asked if it was a gimmick, or if it felt like this was the future – she told us “The future I hope! It’s amazing for a coffee in a hurry, though I do feel guilty about cheating on my usual coffee place so try to get there as much as usual too. It’s great for an emergency too – for example, I got a loaf of bread from bakers delight delivered the other day when I realized I didn’t have enough to make the kids’ sandwiches”
The whole process is kicked off with an App. You choose where you want to buy from, and what you want to buy.
Once that’s done, a drone takes flight.
The Wing drones are capable of both horizontal and vertical flight, this is what gives them both speed and range. The drone will fly fast horizontally to your area, then slow and use the vertical hover and movement to come down to around 10-20 meters above your driveway or front yard.
At that point, the items you’ve purchased are lowered while the drone hovers.
Once the items hit the ground, the drone unclips from the cargo, winds up the delivery string and flies up and away for its next delivery.
If you live in Canberra’s northern suburbs, or in Logan, QLD – maybe worth seeing if you can get in on the trial – it’s the future after all!
Canberra and Logan are two of just four areas in the world where Wing have their drone delivery trials underway.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.