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Google drones deliver 1,200 hot chickens in Queensland

written by Adam Thorn | August 26, 2021
In the new issue of the Australian Aviation print magazine, we take an exclusive look at Google’s plans to conquer drone delivery.

Google Wing delivery drones have delivered 1,200 hot chickens to Logan, Queensland, in the past year alone.

The tech giant revealed the surprising fact as it marked two years of service in the south-west Queensland city, which it has dubbed “the drone delivery capital of the world”.

Wing launched commercially in Canberra and Logan in 2019 and currently allows for the delivery of packages that weigh less than 1.5 kilograms from a variety of vendors who sell household and perishable goods, including coffees and sandwiches. Wing now conducts more deliveries in Australia than in any other country worldwide.

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In the latest issue of the Australian Aviation print magazine, we take an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Google Wing’s operation. To find out more and subscribe, click here.

Jesse Suskin, the business’ head of government relations said, “From Wing’s early days delivering to a small group of customers in two suburbs in 2019, we’re now making thousands of deliveries each week to 19 suburbs, with a combined population of more than 110,000 people.

“Wing saw a 500 per cent increase in deliveries worldwide in 2020 over 2019, and we’ve continued to grow at a similar rate in 2021; we completed more deliveries globally in the second quarter of 2021 than in the entire year of 2020.”

Suskin also said Wing has already made more than 50,000 deliveries within Logan in 2021, with almost 4,500 deliveries in a single week in early August as the city entered lockdown.

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“We heard from a number of customers that they found on-demand drone delivery especially useful as they stayed home, and relied on our contactless service to deliver the things they needed,” he said.

In the past year, Wing customers in Logan have ordered:

  • 10,000 cups of fresh barista-made coffee;
  • 1,000 loaves of bread;
  • 1,700 snack packs for tea;
  • 2,700 sushi rolls; and
  • more than 250 chocolate eggs, bunnies, and hot cross bun packs in the lead up to Easter.

The news comes after Australian Aviation exclusively revealed earlier this week that Wing delivery drones could soon be picking up packages from Australian shops rather than asking retailers to co-locate in the tech giant’s distribution centres.

“That’s not too far off,” said Suskin. “It’s a complicated piece of the puzzle, but certainly a solvable one. And it’s something we’re working on.

“If we catch up six months from now, and you say, ‘What’s different?’, I think that might be one of those pieces where the drones aren’t just at our own locations, they might be at other people’s locations as well.”

Wing started life in 2012 as one of the first projects at the tech giant’s super-secretive research lab, Google X, alongside its augmented reality eyeglasses and self-driving cars. It launched its first trials in 2018 before starting more commercial flights the following year in both Canberra and Logan.

Once a customer submits an order via the app, the drone flies to pick up the package at the designated delivery centre, before climbing to a cruise height of 45 metres and flying to the destination.

Once there, it hovers and lowers the package to the ground, automatically unclipping the parcel without assistance from the customer.

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Google drones deliver 1,200 hot chickens in Queensland Comment

  • Stephen Penfold

    says:

    So my main concerns about drone deliveries are: Once everyone else such as Amazon, etc, as well as Google, get their drone delivery businesses going, plus the recreational drone operators, what’s going to stop them from frequently crashing into each other? Regulating their operations like aircraft are would be a nightmare. And, how annoying is the buzzing of drones zipping back & forth going to become for us on the ground?

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