Canberra poised for commercial food drone deliveries
In what is being hailed as a world-first, a drone company owned by Google is set to launch a commercial home delivery service in Canberra that will include chocolate and gelato.
After a lengthy trial and over 3000 deliveries, Google's drone delivery service Wing has gained regulatory approval to make home deliveries by drone in Canberra.
Wing has been trialling deliveries of food, coffee and medicine to outer Canberra suburbs for a year while awaiting approval for its fleet of drones to be given the go-ahead by Australia’s aviation authority.
The results of the year-long trial were examined by air safety regulator CASA and the decision was made to allow the same safety parameters for new delivery areas to allow the drones to fly closer to people than usual, making home drone deliveries possible.
While the drones were operating below legal noise limits during the trial period, Wing says it has now developed a new, quieter model after some locals complained of the noise levels.
Only five suburbs in Gungahlin in Canberra’s north will be a part of Wing’s drone delivery area and initially goods will only be delivered to 100 eligible homes in the Canberra suburbs of Crace, Palmerston and Franklin.
With 12 local businesses already signed up to be a part of this sky-high project, Wing says it is looking for more local businesses in Mitchell and Gungahlin to partner up for its innovative home delivery solution.
Local chocolate maker Peter Channels whose chocolates will be delivered by drone told ABC News that drone delivery was an opportunity to expand to a new market.
"We really enjoy the direct interaction with customers that we have with the various customers around town, so we see this project as extending the availability of our products our chocolates to a different audience," Channels said.