The world's first commercial drone delivery service has taken to the skies above Australia following several years of test flights.
About 100 homes in the suburbs of Crace, Palmerston and Franklin in Canberra will be served by Wing, the drone delivery company owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet.
The service was given the go-ahead by Australia's aviation authority after it examined Wing’s safety record and operational plans and judged that the drones posed no risk to residents or other aircraft. The permission comes attached with several conditions such as drones not being allowed to fly over main roads or crowds.
The aerial delivery service will supply customers with takeaway food orders, coffee and medicines among other products. Goods are placed into packages which are lowered into a customer's garden on the end of a long piece of string.
Criticism of Drone Noises
There is however at least one major criticism of the service, and that is that during trials the noises the drones made could be heard from some distance off. Wing has responded to complaints by saying it has developed a quieter drone.
If successful, the drone delivery service will be extended to other suburbs in Canberra.
Wing predicts that drone deliveries could be worth as much as AU$30 to AU$40 million to businesses in the area. The company says that drones could deliver as many as one in four takeaway orders by the year 2030.
Reaching for More Skies
Wing is also currently preparing to launch a trial drone delivery service in Helsinki, Finland.