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Google drones to deliver groceries in Canberra

written by Hannah Dowling | March 2, 2022

Google Wing's new quieter drones, set to be rolled out soon
Google Wing’s new quieter drones, set to be rolled out soon.

Google’s drone delivery service Wing has partnered with supermarket giant Coles to begin delivering over 250 of its most popular grocery items to customers in Canberra.

It means Canberrans will be the first customers in Australia to pilot this new service, with deliveries expected within minutes of their order being placed.

It joins a long line of advancements for Wing in Australia, after last month announcing that residents in south Brisbane suburbs will soon be able to order and receive KFC orders via drone delivery.

According to Wing, the initial Coles delivery pilot will allow customers to order a select range of items, including bread, fresh produce, snacks, health care items, kitchen essentials, and even toilet paper, to be delivered to their homes.

There is no minimum spend, and importantly, no fee for delivery.

Orders can be made via the Wing app, and upon delivery, the drone slowly lowers the package to the ground at the customer’s delivery location, making for a contactless delivery.

“Whether you’ve run out of milk and eggs for breakfast, forgotten to pick up a loaf of bread for school lunches, or are just after a fresh ‘grab and go’ snack, customers in our delivery service area in Canberra can now get those urgent items they need in a hurry, delivered by drone,” said Simon Rossi, general manager of Wing, Australia.

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Coles chief executive of e-commerce Ben Hassing said drone delivery was the next step in delivery technology and supports Coles’ ambition to be Australia’s most sustainable supermarket by reducing the number of trucks on the road.

“We are passionate about finding innovative ways to help our customers to shop with us and we aim to deliver anytime, anywhere, anyhow shopping,” Hassing said.

“By partnering with Wing, we’re able to offer our online customers another convenient option to purchase the Coles items they know and love and get them delivered straight to their door.”

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 shops that sell household and perishable goods, including coffee and sandwiches.

According to Rossi, Wing has seen a significant uptick in demand for its drone delivery services in the last year, as Australians stay home and stop the spread.

He stated that Wing made over 100,000 deliveries in Australia in 2021, and a further 30,000 so far in 2022.

In October, Australian Aviation reported how Wing drones were picking up packages from the roof of a Logan shopping mall to deliver to customers in the area.

The development was another major milestone because previously, retailers had to co-locate in the tech giant’s distribution centres rather than being able to work from their own stores.

Shops within the mall that are participating include Sushi Hub, Boost Juice, Chatime and TerryWhite Chemmart.

Comments (3)

  • Steve A

    says:

    This is a terrible day, KFC and Coles filling up the airspace over our homes, and everyone else will follow of course.
    This is an assault on our personal freedom and privacy, just so consumers can fill a company’s coffers. Why do Canberran’s need drone delivery? They don’t. People may think that it’s cool right now, but that novelty will soon wear off.
    We will be told that it’s perfectly safe, but just wait for one of them to be loaded with a camera to take photos of your family. And just wait until one of them causes an aircraft to crash and people to die.
    Why not delivery groceries and fast food by road, as happens now?
    Drone delivery is not what I’m against, don’t get me wrong. But unnecessary drones cluttering our airspace over our homes and near airports is what I object to?
    Drone delivery is fantastic for remote deliveries and urgent pharmaceutical and medical deliveries.
    Let’s keep it for that. Is eating KFC that important that the whole world has to put up with drones?
    Keep drones for when the are needed.
    You won’t die if you don’t get KFC deliveries by drones.

  • Tom Clifford

    says:

    One tea bag at a time!

  • Neil

    says:

    Guess it’s a good way to collect Fly By points!!Gotta watch those pesky Ravens!!

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