Alphabet’s world-first drone delivery service is set to launch in Queensland as the state government looks to “embrace digital disruption and harness the power of innovation”.
Queensland Minister for Innovation Kate Jones announced on Wednesday that Google’s parent company would be launching its autonomous drone delivery offering Wing in Logan later this year.
“We’re working with the world leaders in drone technology to create jobs for Queenslanders,” Jones said. “That’s why we’re partnering with Wing today to make sure that we lead the way when it comes to capitalising on the opportunities provided by technological advancements in drone technology.
“Already we have some of the world leaders in drone tech and we’re investing more in this space than any other government in the country. It’s no wonder Wing chose Queensland to launch its drone delivery service.”
Wing delivers items of up to 1.5kg with drones directly to its users’ home, including fresh bread, coffee or food items, via a mobile app in minutes.
“Whether you’re a parent who forgot to pick up fresh bread for your kids’ school lunches, or you simply want to order your weekend coffee without having to drive to the shops, Wing is teaming up with local Logan businesses to give customers the opportunity to have a range of goods delivered in a handful of minutes,” Wing Australian head of operations Terrance Bouldin-Johnson said.
“We’re pleased to be expanding our Australian operations and launching the first air delivery service in south-east Queensland.
“Queensland has staked out a leadership position in the advancement of drone technology and some of the most significant drone developments in the world are happening here.”
The Queensland government launched Australia’s first ever Drone Strategy last year, complementing its efforts through Advance Queensland to capitalise on emerging technologies.
“We are already leading the way in drone technology across a number of industries, including defence, agriculture, mining and manufacturing,” Jones said. “Wing has the potential to shift the gear again in the use of drone technology for transportation by increasing access to goods, easing traffic congestion and helping to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.”
The project in Logan is awaiting final approval by CASA, but has been given the go ahead by the Logan City Council.
“In our dealings with Wing to date, they have confirmed a strong willingness to engage closely with the Logan community,” Logan City Council director of strategy and sustainability David Hansen said.
“Council welcomes the news that Wing will soon establish its operation here and we’re looking forward to working with them through the development application and community engagement processes.”
Wing became its own company underneath the Alphabet umbrella last year after previously being classified as a moonshot project. It launched a trial service in Finland, offering 10-minute free deliveries in the country’s capital.
In April this year, the company launched in Canberra after a year-long trial. Wing is delivering to five suburbs in Gungahlin in Canberra’s north. Following complaints from locals over the noise of the drones, the company rolled out a new, quieter model.