Google Will Start Delivering Goods With Drones In The United States

In the pilot tests, a limited list of products will be distributed to study the viability.

The citizens of Dallas, in the state of Texas, will be able in a few weeks to buy an ice cream and receive it in the garden of their homes by air. Wing, the division of Alphabet (the parent company of Google) in charge of developing a delivery system with drones, has received the go-ahead from the US airspace regulator to begin its first pilot experiences.

Thanks to an agreement with the Walgreens chain, Wing will begin to distribute an initially limited list of products (such as ice cream, pet medicine and first aid kits) to try to study the feasibility of delivery with drones in suburban and rural areas of the country.

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Wing's drones fly at a height of approximately 45 meters and are capable of carrying up to 1.2 kilos of weight. Upon reaching the destination, they descend to a height of about 7 meters and deposit the package on the ground using a retractable cable. Although they have several rotors that allow them to remain stable in the air, they also have wings to improve their flight range.

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There are several safety mechanisms implemented to prevent accidents. If, for example, someone pulls on the cable trying to deposit the load on the ground, the drone is programmed to drop the cable and return to its starting point. They also have rotors specifically designed to emit less annoying noise . than commercial drones used for video recording. "It is a noise not much louder than others that can be heard in a suburban environment," they explain from the company.

The company has been operating for more than a year, also in a test phase in Australia and Finland, where I have successfully made more than 200,000 shipments. In the US, however, it faces a much more competitive market. Amazon and delivery company UPS have also started several drone delivery pilots in recent years.

Amazon plans to start its drone delivery service, Prime Air, in the US this year, although it has suffered some setbacks during the testing phase. In the state of Oregon, for example, an accident involving one of its drones caused a fire in a wheat field last June, although it was able to be contained in time.

UPS, for its part, has already used its delivery drones in the last year to send doses of COVID-19 vaccines to hospitals in remote areas of the United States, where road access is difficult, but recognizes that it is about a service that is not yet ready for continuous use, since phenomena as common as a bit strong wind or rain can prevent their drones from making deliveries.

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