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Alphabet's drone delivery business, Wing, gets approval to deliver goods to customers...

By Shawn Knight ยท 6 replies
Apr 23, 2019
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  1. Alphabet subsidiary Wing has become the first drone operator to receive Air Carrier Certification by the Federal Aviation Administration, giving the company the green light to begin delivering goods to customers in the states.

    US Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao described it as an important step forward for the safe testing and integration of drones into our economy.

    Wing, along with moonshot project Loon, graduated from the ranks of X (formerly Google X) to independent businesses under the Alphabet umbrella last summer. X CEO Astro Teller said at the time that the divisions were ready to operate outside the prototyping-focused environment of X.

    Drone delivery could have a profound impact on communities across the country. Things like food and medicine can be delivered faster by drone, giving busy individuals more free time. Aerial delivery could also make life easier for those with mobility issues and will reduce both traffic and pollution.

    Wing has already logged more than 70,000 test flights and conducted over 3,000 deliveries in Australia. The next step, the company said, will be to conduct further tests in the communities of Blacksburg and Christiansburg in Virginia ahead of a broader rollout later this year.

    Lead image courtesy Charles Mostoller, Bloomberg

    Permalink to story.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2019
  2. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 695   +533

    "our all-electric drones will reduce traffic on our roads and pollution and carbon emissions in our skies"

    Uh, that is a negatory. This is like saying a (electric) helicopter is more efficient at delivering people, one person each round trip, at their house than all riding in a bus. Not only terribly inefficient, but then there is noise pollution and air traffic. What kind of wool are they trying to pull over our eyes? Who can actually believe this?

    Queue the shotgun blasts, power outages from power lines, pets/wildlife, trees, plus dropping them onto gardens/flowers, landscaping, roofs, and people/kids. How about apartments with multiple floors? Then there are concerns these will be so common that everyone/government attach camcorders and record everything at any time with their own. I wonder how they are going to deliver to my neighborhood full of old and low-hanging trees covering the entire yard and street? The list goes on.

    I guess I should start looking into buying that weight set? ;)
     
    godrilla and psycros like this.
  3. toooooot

    toooooot TS Evangelist Posts: 764   +373

    I think it was amazon who required to place a bright plastic piece of sheet on the lawn for delivery. I think Google will have some similar for space for this type of delivery.
     
  4. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 695   +533

    Hmm. I haven't heard of this. Hopefully it doesn't think a vehicle roof or small shed is? Which I guess still wouldn't help if there are trees.

    I also wonder how these will fair in my entire state (and large part of the country - the "breadbasket") when we have sustained winds of 20-40+mph for days at a time?
     
  5. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,669   +2,427

    Totally impractical outside of wealthy suburbs and a few major metropolitan delivery zones. Once they can carry half a ton or so they might find a place as intra-city package carriers. I'm sure FedEx would love to send a drone to the roof of all the big office buildings. I really feel for commercial pilots who will have to be dodging all this remote-controlled s**t though.
     
    CloudCatcher and ShagnWagn like this.
  6. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,287   +3,698

    And lets not forget that the first 400 ft. above your property is YOUR property so if you have a "stand your ground" law in your state, these could very much be considered fair game ...... (Note to self: Get to Rural King and load up on 00 buckshot this week) ......
     
  7. Reachable

    Reachable TS Evangelist Posts: 369   +183

    I have railed at and ranted against drones with a passion greater than anyone else on the Internet here and other places, but I can see how in certain circumstances they could be a useful tool.

    In truly rural areas, where residences are spread out, reaching every destination with a delivery truck requires driving far more distance per delivery than in urban or suburban settings. If a system can be developed wherein drones could be launched from a moving vehicle, find their destination autonomously and return autonomously to the moving vehicle, then a single truck's capacity for deliveries could be magnified several-fold.

    If drone use could be restricted to search and rescue operations, Casey Neistat videos and this then ...
     

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