Wing, the Alphabet-owned drone delivery service, is on its way to making 100,000 deliveries, thanks to the popularity it has found in Australia's suburbs.
The company said Wednesday in a blog post detailing its progress that it intends to reach the milestone in the coming days and that it has delivered 10,000 cups of coffee, 1,700 snack packs, and 1,200 roast chickens to consumers in Logan, Australia, during the last year. This is a significant achievement for a technology that has yet to prove its utility on a large scale.
Following a series of drone trials that began in 2014, Wing became the first drone delivery firm to win approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and also launched in Australia in 2019.
The company's drones can fly both as fixed-wing aircraft and as hovering copters. The drones fly to their location, descend to a height of 23 feet (seven meters), and lower their goods to the ground, automatically them autonomously.
The Wing app allows users to order a small range of goods such as coffee, groceries, sushi, cakes, pet food, and sportswear. Wing's record for a delivery is two minutes and 47 seconds from the time the order is placed to the time it arrives, but in general, they are made in under 10 minutes.
Today, these drones operate in three countries: Australia, the U.S., and Finland. However, Logan, Australia, a 300,000-person suburb of Brisbane, has been the company's largest success story. According to the press release, Logan is on its way to becoming the "drone delivery capital of the world." Wing has carried out more than 50,000 deliveries in the area, and its service is available to just over a third of this population. In the first week of August, Logan residents ordered around 4,500 deliveries, which means a drone delivery was made nearly every 30 seconds during the service hours.
Wing's success in Logan suggests it could also see growth in cities that are similar in size around the world, such as New Orleans, U.S., Manchester, England, or Florence, Italy. More than 2 billion people live in cities with populations of 500,000 or fewer, but that isn't to say Wing doesn't have ambitions to operate in larger cities. Wing says it will announce new cities and partners in the coming months, and its success suggests we will be seeing more drone deliveries in the near future, with suburbs being the first hotspots before they can be scaled up to bigger projects.