Of late drones are being used by different types of businesses to deliver products. Now, Wing-a drone delivery business owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet declared that it will launch in Europe in the spring of 2019 a service in Helsinki, Finland. Wing will deliver goods and packages of up to 1.5 kilograms (about 3.3 pounds) within a distance of up to 10 kilometres (6.2 miles).
The Wing start-up wants to build a drone delivery system and management platform to improve transportation of goods. In July, Wing graduated from X, Alphabet’s moonshot factory for future-tech projects into an independent company within Alphabet, headed by James Burgess. Wing says its drones run on clean electric power, fly emissions free, and allow small businesses to deliver to a number of customers in a short time.
“Finns are internationally renowned for being early-adopters of new technologies, and we’re looking forward to working with the community and local businesses,” the company said in a statement on its site. “Based on what we know about the winter weather in Finland, we’re pretty confident that if our drones can deliver here, they can deliver anywhere.”
The company is seeking input on its service from people who live in the Helsinki area. Wing is launching a page now to take suggestions of what might be in most demand to deliver by drone. “We would like to introduce a service in Greater Helsinki this spring based on Finns’ preferences,” a Wing spokesperson said in an email statement. “We’re asking them to tell us what they want us to deliver on a new section of our website, at wing.com/finland.”
Wing has run four separate trials covering some 55,000 journeys in Australia (and 60,000 overall) where it partnered with local businesses to carry goods varying from medicine and coffee in a range of environments. Similar to the Australian trial, the Finnish service will be free until full commercial launch. It is otherwise run in complete market-ready form: people use an app, where they can select items and order their drones.
CEO James Ryan Burgess said in an interview “Our aim is to provide a service at a cost lower for both. We think single numbers of dollars will be the likely amount an order will cost when it is commercially live. As a separate company we will have to show business viability. And we are excited about the future.”
Wing isn’t the only company that’s developing drone delivery systems. In 2016, Amazon executives said the company’s drones could deliver packages within 30 minutes of an order being placed. Amazon started a test program in the UK that same year and completed its first public drone delivery in the US last year. In April, Zipline began testing its second-generation drones. The company’s drones are already being used to deliver blood to hospitals in Rwanda. The possibilities of improved transportation of goods and services by using drones are endless.
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