Testing with Project Wing in the ACT

Over the past few years, Project Wing has conducted thousands of flights to get our drone delivery technology ready for everyday use. In early 2016, we successfully completed our first drone deliveries to members of the public in an open field at Virginia Tech University. This fall we’ve been testing in a rural community on the border of the ACT and NSW and tackling an entirely different level of operational complexity: making deliveries directly to people’s yards.

Our testers — alpaca farmers, math professors, equestrians, and artists (not to mention a few curious kangaroos) — have been helping us fine-tune how our drones move goods from where they’re located to where they’re needed. And today we’re announcing that two Australian merchants are joining our tests, as they’re eager to understand how drone delivery could help them serve their customers better. Guzman y Gomez, a Mexican food chain, and Chemist Warehouse, a chain of pharmacies, will receive orders from our testers who’ve purchased items using the Project Wing app on their smartphones. We’ll dispatch our drones to pick up the order from our partners’ loading sites and then transport and deliver the goods to testers at their residences.

Here’s a bit of an update on what we’ve been learning over the last several weeks and what we’re going to be focusing on in the weeks ahead.

See more of the blog here

Learn more about Project Wing

Automated drone delivery service to start second trial in rural NSW

Drone delivery is the idea behind Project Wing – an initiative testing drone delivery systems in rural NSW in collaboration with the ACT’s Rural Fire Service.

Originally trialled at Fernleigh Park in Googong near the ACT border, it’s now moving to Royalla to deliver food, drinks and other items to hundreds of households.

Participating households will be able to use a smartphone app to request items to be delivered to their yard within five minutes.

Unmanned Systems Australia is operating the aircraft with Project Wing, and continues the work conducted with Project Wing since 2014.

Taking off from the launch site at Guises Creek Rural Fire Station in Royalla, the 4.5 kgs drones zip along up to 120 kilometres per hour to their pre-programmed delivery site.

The Project – run by Google sister company ‘X’ – hopes the drones could also be used in firefighting and other emergency services.

ACT Minister for Planning and Land Management Mick Gentleman said the drones could supply frontline firies with rations, medical supplies, or mechanical parts.

“It’s a service that will be available in a rural area that’s not there at the moment,” he said.

“We’re really excited that this technology would be able to be used for our emergency front line people.”

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority praised the utility the drones would provide to fire services.

“In emergency services drones are already playing a role… they can be used to spot bushfires and see where they’ve spread to,” spokesman Peter Gibson said.

“There will be a lot of other applications as drone technology continues to grow and develop.”

Minister Gentleman said he would take the community’s attitude to the technology into account.

“[The tests] will allow us to understand community attributes to this new technology, and will let us consider the best way to accommodate drone delivery in our city for our future,” he said

See more (Tenplay)