Human operators will be supervising drone flights from the ground. These operators will be empowered to take control of the drones in necessary situations
Wing, a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet, has announced that it will be launching the first trial of commercial drone home-delivery service in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) in 2019. The commencement of commercial drone home-delivery service in Australia will be the first of its type.
James Ryan Burgess, CEO of Wing, in a blog post on Google X had said, “Over the past few years, Project Wing has conducted thousands of flights to get our drone delivery technology ready for everyday use. In early 2016, we successfully completed our first drone deliveries to members of the public in an open field at Virginia Tech University. This fall we’ve been testing in a rural community on the border of the ACT and NSW and tackling an entirely different level of operational complexity: making deliveries directly to people’s yards.”
Automated drones to deliver small packages
The commercial drone home delivery service will be used to deliver small packages, including cups of coffee. Wing will be delivering to homes located within five km of the company’s base in Mitchell, Canberra.
The company said that a total of 12 rotor-drones, weighing 4.5kg each will be used to make the deliveries. The company claims that these can reach speeds of 125km per hour and have been designed to guarantee safety. Each drone has a capacity of carrying packages weighing up to 1.5kg.
James Ryan Burgess, CEO of Wing, said, “We have high levels of automation and so the aircraft themselves are doing a lot of the determining of what is safe, and making sure that they are monitoring themselves to be healthy. If there are any anomalies or any problems, the drones actually take action themselves before even a human could react and are able to execute safe contingency actions.”
He further added, “That’s one of the reasons why we’re able to perform such quick service and get people (their) packages within just a few minutes. The system can take off right away when the customer places an order.”
Human operators will be supervising multiple flights from the ground. These operators will be empowered to take control of the drones in necessary situations.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has been working with Wing since 2014 to ensure safety. The company said that the results of the first commercial home drone delivery trial will be used to guide future drone regulations. Not more than 30 businesses are expected to take part in the first trial.