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Google’s Wing Drone Trials Step Up

Wing - Transforming the way goods are transported
Image Credit: Wing

Drone Delivery

Google’s Wing Drone Trials Step Up

Alphabet a subsidiary of Google’s holding company has signalled its intent to work towards expanding its drone delivery trials throughout Canberra. The company, Wing, previously a component of Alphabet’s X research division has become an independent business since July and has already made significant use of drone in the Bonython area.

Wing successfully conducted automated drone delivery trials by delivering Guzman y Gomez and Chemist Warehouse products to customers at Fernleigh Park in Googong and Royalla last year, before its expansion into Bonython in 2018. Bunnings and Jasper and Myrtle Chocolates participated in the trials too and have signed up more than 100 customers in the Bonython area for drone deliveries. The drones will fly at 120km/h with the capacity of carrying up to 1.5 kilograms.

Wing chief executive James Ryan Burgess revealed Wing’s plans to start trials in other south Canberra suburbs in the coming months. “We think this is great technology for all cities, but for now we really want to focus on Canberra and engage with the community before we focus on scaling,” he said.

Bonython resident Jeremy Hawkes, who placed his first drone delivery order about three weeks ago, said he had enjoyed the convenience. Mr Hawkes told reporters that he received an order from Guzman y Gomez in about four minutes from having placed the order, which was a big time saver compared to the 15 or 20 minutes he would have taken to get the delivery manually.

Tech giant Google, already active in Sydney and working towards long-term growth in Melbourne, has just received another offer for expansion. The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that Google recently received a lucrative offer from the ACT government minister Mick Gentleman to set up an office in Canberra, as a subsidiary of Google’s holding company steps up drone delivery trials in the capital. Mick Gentleman offered complete support to Google when he met Google co-founder Sergey Brin during a recent trip to California.

“I did offer him an opportunity to set up a base in the ACT for Google,” Mr. Gentleman told The Canberra Times, “we know that Google, of course, provide great employment opportunities and great opportunities for career advancement as well. We’d like to [take] any opportunity we can to help them, as long as the Canberra community is on board as well,” he elaborated further.

Google however, did not seem as enthusiastic about any expansion plans in the capital. A  Google spokesman referring The Canberra Times to a tweet posted by then-Google Australia managing director Jason Pellegrino in May, clarified in a statement saying – Mr. Pellegrino said Google had been overwhelmed by interest from all over Australia, but was focused on its long-term growth in Sydney and its new office in Melbourne.

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