Google Startup Launches Drone Delivery From Mall Rooftops

Alphabet, which owns Google, announced on Wednesday (6) that startup Wing (also a group company) will launch a drone delivery service on the roof of a shopping mall owned by the Australian Vicinity Centers chain. With this, the mall’s storekeepers will be able to use remotely controlled flying robots to send their products to customers’ homes.

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According to Wing’s blog, there are two advantages in the initiative: using the unused space on the roof to transform it into a “droneport” without paying for the purchase or rent of an extra property; and of course, giving retailers the ability to expand their delivery service and extend the reach of their products.

But there is still the issue of agility. According to the company, delivery in this mode takes ten to minutes, with only about three minutes of flight time. “It’s almost 2030 times more efficient than a gas-powered vehicle,” said Jonathan Bass, Wing’s head of marketing and communications, in a podcast for TechFirst. “It’s probably ten times more efficient than an electric car.”

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Wing had done some tests and did more than 2.500 deliveries from the roof of the Grand Plaza shopping mall in Logan, Australia, for customers in the region. In this pilot program, they delivered Boost Juice products, Chatime bubble tea and Sushi Hub breads. Now, they will also deliver pharmaceutical, personal care, health and beauty products from TerryWhite Chemmart.

According to the startup, this service could help make the so-called last mile delivery cheaper — that is, the one that takes the product to the end customer — considered one of the most expensive segments of the supply chain. A Wing estimate says that by 2030 retail sales in Australia will grow by $2.2 billion if drones deliver 4% to 6% of domestic purchases .

Source: Wing, Forbes

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