After years of development, the Alphabet drone delivery service has been officially opened.
The company announced the start of the service for residents of Christiansburg, Virginia, who can order freely available medications, snacks, and other small items and have them fly directly to their homes with a drone.
Wing will initially deliver goods on behalf of three partner companies with FedEx, Walgreens and Super Magnolia, a local supermarket chain in Virginia.
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After years of preparation, the Alphabet drone delivery service has officially started operations in Christiansburg, Virginia
The company made the announcement through a blog post on Medium and contained a video that shows how the delivery service will work.
The FAA approved Alphabet's drone delivery program in March and the company announced plans for & # 39; store to door & # 39; of more than 100 products in Virginia.
& # 39; Walgreens continues to explore partnerships to transform and modernize our customer experience and we are proud to be the first US retailer to offer an on-demand commercial drone delivery option with Wing, & # 39; said Vish Sankaran, chief innovation officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., in a press release in September.
HOW DOES GOOGLE & # 39; S WING DRONE WORK?
Wing, the first commercial drone company approved by the FAA in the US, is starting to deliver in Virginia.
The drone is fully electrically powered and can fly up to 120 km / h (almost 75 mph).
It emits no greenhouse gases and travels without human guidance using the company's AI and machine learning systems.
It can fly vertically and sideways and delivers products to consumers' lawns by dropping them safely with a chain.
& # 39; With a customer-focused focus, we continue to create differentiated shopping experiences that offer the products and services that consumers need wherever, whenever and how they want.
& # 39; This is the kind of omni-channel partnership and offer that redefines convenience for our customers and communities – delivering items to homes in minutes, not hours or days. & # 39;
Christiansburg is close to Wing's test zone, where it has been testing drone delivery since 2016 as part of the US Department of Transport's Integration Pilot Program.
& # 39; Although Walgreens are currently piloting in one market, it is in a unique position to take advantage of the convenience of drone delivery if and when it should expand, with approximately 78 percent of the US population lives within five miles of a Walgreens-owned store, & # 39; explains the release.
& # 39; The Wing partnership is a strong addition to other successful Walgreens collaborations. & # 39;
An employee completes an order and places it in a special Wing package
A wing delivery drone lowers a cord on which the package is hooked and then lifted back up to the drone
Terwijl As customers change the way they shop and use new technologies, strategic partnerships such as these help Walgreens expand its omni-channel offering to meet the needs of its customers' lifestyle – whether it's a busy working mother is or a consumer with limited transportation options – and deliver more value, convenience and accessibility for products and services. & # 39;
Although Walgreens sells almost every item you can imagine, the test program limits what can be delivered by air.
A Wing drone arrives at a house and prepares to lower a package for delivery
Consumers will have the opportunity to choose from freely available drugs, but recipes will not be part of the program.
Eligible customers can choose from more than 100 different products and six & # 39; packs & # 39; supplied with the Wing app.
Customers in Virginia open their package through Alphabet & # 39; s Wing drone delivery service
The packages are divided into the following categories: allergy, baby, cough / cold, first aid, pain and snacks for children.
The helicopter-like vehicles are fully autonomous and can fly up to 120 km / h (75 mph) using a fully electric power source without emissions.
Walgreens cooperates with the Alphabet drone delivery service Wing to bring food and drink, freely available medicines and other items to consumers
According to a report from BloombergWing also has permission to make deliveries in Blacksburg, Virginia, although it is unclear when the services can begin there.
Although Wing was approved by the FAA, the company said it will work with local governments to determine where and how the drones are deployed.
One of the most important problems for the use of commercial drones is with regard to privacy and noise.
& # 39; A lot will also be learned for us, as this is a first of its kind and nobody really knows the best applications, & # 39; James CEO Burgess told Wing CEO Roanoke Times.
& # 39; We think it is actually in collaboration with the community that we will find those answers together. & # 39;
The delivery service is being rolled out in Christiansburg, Virginia, near the Wing test zone. Since 2016, drone delivery has been tested as part of the US Department of Transport's Integration Pilot Program.
For Wing, the approval of its US operations is one of the most important steps of the past year, including a green light from Australian regulatory authorities that allowed public deliveries from the company this month.
Progress has been surpassed by that of Google & # 39; s largest competitor in the commercial drone area, Amazon, whose service, Prime Air, is planning to deliver the company's products directly to the consumer's door.
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