Drone delivery service Wing has come to Logan City, with businesses delivering goods via drone to customers located in Marsden and Crestmead.
Wing delivers takeaway food from a number of restaurants in Marsden and Crestmead, as well as delivering a range of products for other businesses.
Companies currently using Wing’s services include Extraction Artisan Coffee, Crestmead Friendly Grocer, Harmony on Carmody Café, Sushi Hub, Browns Plains Hardware, PETZOO, glamaCo., LSKD and Drummond Golf.
Wing is a drone delivery service owned by Alphabet Inc, Google’s parent company, which currently runs delivery services in suburbs of Canberra, as well as in Helsinki in Finland, and in Virginia in the US.
The drones are designed to carry packages that weigh up to 1.5 kgs, and follow guidelines set by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.
Initially deliveries will be conducted with the drone flying at 45 metres above the ground in clear weather during the day only, although the drones are also capable of flying in the rain.
Head of Australian Operations at Wing, Terrance Bouldin-Johnson, said by working with local merchants, they could support businesses that might otherwise be struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic and could not use other services to deliver products quickly.
“We have already heard from some of our local business partners that they are seeing significant increases in orders via contactless drone delivery, especially during a time when it is difficult for customers to leave their homes,” Mr Bouldin-Johnson said.
“Our local merchant partners set the price of items and receive 100 per cent of the sale proceeds,” he said.
“For example, if a customer orders a litre of milk for $2.99, they will only pay $2.99 for the milk, and Wing provides the delivery; the $2.99 paid will go directly to the local business.”
Manager of Browns Plains Hardware Paul Charlton said he believed using Wing was a great way to get ready for the future of delivery services, and said the service allowed for quicker and easier same day deliveries that would take days using more traditional methods.
“It’s cool, that’s why I wanted to give it a go,” Mr Charlton said.
“Drone delivery is as close as you’re going to get to instant,” he said.
“The average delivery time for hardware items last month from clicking ‘order’, to having the item in the customer’s hands, was around 10 minutes [with Wing].”
“A drone delivery is ‘as the crow flies’,” Mr Charlton said.
Mr Bouldin-Johnson said Wing were working with the local and federal government and are making sure the technology was as unobtrusive as possible.
“Wing has made it a priority to engage with a community prior to introducing our drone delivery service,” he said.
“To offer our service, the safety of Wing’s aircraft, personnel and operations are rigorously reviewed, and all operations can only be undertaken with the approval of the regulators in each country we operate.”
Wing also claim environmental bragging rights, as their deliveries cut down on congestion and emissions compared with delivery via car or truck.
Griffith University electronic engineering Associate Professor Steven O’Keefe specialises in drone technologies, and said he believed drones would be the future for delivery services, with economics being the main driver of their success.
“I would think economics may be the bigger driver,” Prof O’Keefe said.
“If customers can have something delivered faster or cheaper then they will drive the development [of drone technology],” he said.
“The regulations are usually the things that are left catching up.”
Prof O’Keefe said the drone industry was growing rapidly.
“These delivery services have caught the eye of the public, but this is only a tiny part of the overall drone industry, which is already huge,” he said.
“They are used in cinematography, survey, research, industrial inspections, etcetera.”
“Drones are even being used for delivering organs for transplant, as it can be done faster than by other methods.”
For more information about Wing’s delivery services in Logan, visit their website.