Residents of Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, can have their groceries delivered by drone from drugstore chain Walgreens starting today. To this end, Walgreens has partnered with Google’s sister company, Wing. It is the first time Wing will offer its drone delivery services in the US.
Groceries delivered by drone starting in the US
The launch of drone delivery services around Dallas-Fort Worth is a major milestone for Wing and marks its first major operation outside of Australia. Until now, Wing was mainly active in the Australian capital, Canberra, where the company says it has now delivered more than 200,000 orders per drone. Sometimes more than 1,000 deliveries in a day (one every 25 seconds, Wing said), reflecting continued demand growth.
Wing is now eager to replicate this success in other Countries, including the US. Deliveries will begin in two Dallas-Fort Worth suburbs, Frisco and Little Elm. There are tens of thousands of households in both districts. In addition to items from drugstore chain Walgreens, the drones will also deliver ice cream from Blue Bell Creameries, pet medication from Easyvet, and first aid kits from Texas Health.
Phased rollout of drone deliveries
“We are confident that local consumers will fall for the Wing drone delivery service. But I have to set clear expectations: not everyone who lives within range of our drones will be able to order on day 1,” said a spokesperson for Wing. “We will be inviting customers into groups to ensure everyone has a good first experience with drone delivery.”
Customers who want to have their groceries delivered by drone can use the Wing app. Employees of the affiliated stores then attach the package to the drone. After that, a Wing employee takes over the process. Arriving at the delivery address, the drone lowers the package by means of a winch in the garden or on the driveway, depending on what the package requires. The entire flight can be tracked via the app.
No BVLOS yet
An interesting fact is that Wing does not yet have permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to allow the drones to operate fully automatically out of the pilot’s view (BVLOS). For that reason, Wing has hired several drone pilots, who oversee the drone flights from a central location.
What do you think about the prospect of getting your groceries delivered by drone? Do you think this is feasible or do you think that drones should be used differently? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
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