Wing’s new delivery network will increase drone delivery efficiency

The company hopes to manage "millions" of deliveries at lower costs.
Can Emir
Wing Delivery Network
Wing Delivery Network


Wing, a division of Alphabet, plans to develop drone delivery network technology that can handle millions of orders within a year.

According to Wing's release, using drones in a network will increase efficiency, and the company tests its method with up to 1,000 shipments daily in Logan, Australia.

Wing CEO Adam Woodworth says Wing Delivery Network will look "more like an efficient data network than a traditional transportation system".

He said the company did a lot of groceries, prepared food, and coffee deliveries.

Wing Delivery Network's drones can take pickup and delivery jobs back-to-back on demand without reporting back to an origination base. Wing Delivery Network offers a decentralized logistics platform that can autonomously assign tasks to a fleet of drones within a metro region.

The drones themselves, the pads where they can take off and land when needed for charging, and Autoloader stations make up the Wing Delivery Network. Retailers employees can load a prepared order onto autoloaders that have been put in the parking lots. Then, without anyone waiting, an available drone can arrive and lower a rope to grab it.

They confirm their permisson

The system is designed to scale gracefully as well. If demand increases, it is rather simple to add more pad locations, and the drones can serve as scouts to develop the network. The drones can even confirm their permission to operate in a certain location.

Wing anticipates that "parts" of the Delivery Network will go live over the course of the following year, with global demonstrations beginning in 2023. By mid-2024, if everything goes as planned, the company hopes to manage "millions" of deliveries at costs lower than those of traditional ground-based delivery.

There are limitations. Even for decentralized systems, drone regulations aren't necessarily ready to manage autonomous delivery. Due to legal limitations, Amazon's Prime Air drones have only completed a small number of deliveries. There's also no guarantee that companies will be willing to spend money on drones and modify their curbside pickup areas. But, Wing's strategy differs significantly from those of other networks, and its combination of lightweight drones and gentle deliveries may make it more desirable to both authorities and retailers.

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