World's first commercial drone deliveries take to the skies in Australia

Google startup Wing beats Amazon by launching delivery service in Canberra

Anthony Cuthbertson
Tuesday 09 April 2019 20:13 BST
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Google has beaten Amazon to launching the first ever commercial drone delivery service
Google has beaten Amazon to launching the first ever commercial drone delivery service (Wimg)

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Louise Thomas

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The world's first commercial drone deliveries are underway in Australia after aviation authorities granted a license to a Google-funded startup.

Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) gave approval to Wing - a subsidiary of Google's parent company Alphabet - to deliver packages via drone, after a trial of the service proved successful.

Only around 100 homes in the suburbs of Canberra will initially be eligible for the drone deliveries, though a wider roll-out is expected.

Customers will be able to request a range of products to be delivered via drone through a dedicated app, including coffee, ice cream and medicine.

Deliveries can take as little as three minutes from the point of order, Wing claims, with average flights taking around five minutes.

Wing will need to abide by a number of conditions laid out by CASA, such as deliveries only taking place during daylight hours.

The delivery drones must also fly at least 16 feet above humans, while also avoiding main roads where there is busy traffic.

Drone deliveries are anticipated to be worth between AU$30 million and AU$40 million to local businesses, according to Wing, with food deliveries the most likely commercial opportunity.

CASA's approval means Google has beaten Amazon by launching the first ever commercial drone delivery service.

The online retail giant is currently working on its own “Prime Air” delivery service and has conducted a number of high profile trials in the UK and US.

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