Alphabet's Project Wing testing delivery drones in rural Australia

While Amazon might have gone for the green pastures of Cambridgeshire for its first commercial drone flight, but Google's parent company Alphabet has decided on somewhere a little more remote for its own testing.

Alphabet's Project Wing has revealed that it has been testing the use of drones to make deliveries to home in rural southeastern Australia.

On the company's blog, Project Wing Co-Lead James Ryan Burgess explained, "Our partners Guzman y Gomez and Chemist Warehouse will teach us what we need to do to ensure that orders are channelled to their staff smoothly and that they can easily load goods onto our delivery drones".

Flying goods right into their yards is a great deal more complicated than navigating a field at Virginia Tech. The drone's sensors will plot trees, fences and power lines from the sky before lowering the purchased items to the ground with a winch.

The issues range from programming the devices to maneuver safely around obstacles like parked cars or outdoor furniture to following customers' wishes to set down perishable food items close to their kitchens.

Project Wing will dispatch its drones to pick up orders from the retailers' loading sites, and then transport the goods to the tester's residents.

Now, a Mexican food chain Guzman y Gomez and pharmacy Chemist Warehouse are joining the delivery tests to "alpaca farmers, math professors, equestrians, and artists (not to mention a few curious kangaroos) ". "That means that in addition to learning what people want delivered, we also have to learn how to best deliver items to people", said Burgess.

Its endeavors in Australia are the latest move in the drone delivery race heating up among big brands.

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