Google Company will improve its drones
Alphabet's subsidiary Wing is developing drone delivery network technology that can handle millions of orders within a year. The company is testing the technology at scale in Logan, Australia, where it delivers up to 1,000 packages a day, and has started testing in the Dublin suburb of Lusk. Wing and other firms are reportedly in talks with the UK Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority to establish drone delivery regulations. The CEO of Wing, Adam Woodworth, says the delivery system will look more like an efficient data network than a traditional transportation system.
by Ana Machado
Within the next year, Wing, an Alphabet subsidiary, plans to develop drone delivery-network technology that can handle millions of orders. The use of drones as a network is expected to improve efficiency. In Logan, Australia, Wing is testing the technology on a large scale, delivering up to 1,000 packages daily. Additionally, the company is conducting drone delivery trials in the Dublin suburb of Lusk. Wing, along with other firms, is currently in talks with the UK Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority to establish regulations for drone deliveries in the country.
According to chief executive Adam Woodworth, the drone delivery system being developed by Alphabet subsidiary Wing will operate more like an efficient data network than a traditional transportation system. The company has been testing its drone delivery technology at scale in Logan, Australia, where it delivers up to 1,000 packages per day. The technology is being trialed in the Dublin suburb of Lusk and Wing is in talks with the UK Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority to agree regulations to allow drone deliveries in the UK. Woodworth says that the delivery system currently handles a lot of grocery, prepared food and coffee deliveries. While consumers are not charged extra for drone deliveries, the company has not disclosed what the ultimate cost will be. To be financially viable, drone companies will have to make a large number of deliveries, experts say.
Dr Steve Wright from the University of West of England commented that it was expected that companies such as Wing would aim to develop drone delivery-network technology. He added that while everyone is still working on the drones themselves, it is necessary to consider the bigger picture of managing and directing a large number of robots for drone deliveries. Wright stated that regulation is the first question being grappled with, but the next question is looming large, which is how to manage and direct the vast number of robots. He noted that it was no coincidence that Wing and Amazon share a clear heritage in big data.
Alphabet-owned drone delivery firm Wing hopes to develop technology for a drone delivery network that can handle millions of orders within a year. Operating drones as a network will improve efficiency, the company says, and it is already testing the technology “at scale” in Logan, Australia, delivering up to 1,000 packages per day. Wing has also started trialling drone deliveries in Lusk, Dublin, and it is in talks with the Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority about agreeing drone delivery regulations in the UK. The system comprises three hardware elements: delivery drones, charging pads and autoloaders.
Wing CEO, Adam Woodworth, stated that more civil-aviation regulators globally are implementing rules that would enable drone deliveries to become more widespread. Despite this, there are still obstacles to overcome. Wing has faced complaints about noise pollution in the Australian suburb of Logan. Mr Woodworth claims the company has invested much effort in designing quieter drones and software that avoids creating “drone highways” over the same residential areas.
About the author / Ana Machado
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