Alphabet's Wing division has launched 'America's first' commercial drone delivery service


TS Evangelist
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According to Wing, this program is America's first true consumer-facing drone delivery service. The service kicked off after Wing received an "Air Carrier Certificate" from the Federal Aviation Administration. With that certification, Wing has been granted permission to use unmanned drones to drop packages off on the doorsteps of various Christiansburg homes.

Of course, Wing is not a retailer in and of itself, so it has partnered up with Walgreens and local Virginia retailer Sugar Magnolia for product deliveries. The company is also working with FedEx Express to allow for "scheduled" drone deliveries.

Wing says its drones can be dispatched "minutes" after a customer places an order (this is perhaps an exaggeration), and upon arrival at a given address, the drones will gently drop off the package at a "designated" location. This seems to imply that users will be able to choose where they want their items delivered.

Inside its announcement, Wing posted a few stories from those who have participated in this pilot program; likely to prove its effectiveness. One family had several Walgreens-brand health medical products delivered to their home, such as Tylenol, cough and cold packs, as well as tissues. In another case, a husband ordered a birthday gift for his wife via FedEx Express.

If you happen to live in Christiansburg, you can participate in this experiment by joining Wing's "Early Flyers" program, the details for which can be found on the company's official website.

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TS Maniac
Seeing one or two of these a day might be cute. But how many are there really going to be once this reaches scale? At one drone in the sky for say an average of eight minutes for each small box delivered, wouldn't that eventually add up to the point where you'd have trouble seeing any blue sky or white clouds at all for all the drones in the air?

I hope there are sensible limits, or maybe they make it so that all deliveries are at night when you wouldn't be able to see anything anyway.
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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
And the FAA has still not reached a final decision on the 400' limit over your property and what you are allowed to do to defend from "invaders". As it currently stands, you're pump shotgun can be used without prosecution .... should be an interesting out in the counties where firearm discharges are common and acceptable .....


TS Addict
Do tell us about the noise of dozens of drones flying at all times of day or night.....

I bet the sale of shotguns will rise in similar proportion to the frequency of the flying machines!
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TS Evangelist
I don't see how this is even possible, or legal, because commercial flights can not operate less than 500ft.

And, I bet all these drones have cameras too, so surveillance is another issue.