Wing has debuted its drone-based delivery service from the parking lot of a Walgreens store in Little Elm, Texas, according to a company announcement, kicking off the largest initiative of its kind for the Alphabet Inc. subsidiary in the US and its first customer -operated drone fleet.
In addition to choosing Walgreens items, customers can also order ice cream from Blue Bell Creameries, pet prescriptions from easyvet veterinary clinics and first-aid kits from Texas Health Resources, the announcement stated.
Wing employees will coordinate the drone delivery of products from customers other than Walgreens from a staging area at a mixed-use development in Frisco, Texas, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported. For now, deliveries will be limited to “tens of thousands of suburban homes” in Frisco and Little Elm, Wing told WSJ.
“This third-party delivery model will give businesses the ability to reach their customers in faster and cheaper ways than ever before,” said Wing Head of Communications Alexa Dennett in the report. Wing also has commercial drone services in Christiansburg, Virginia, Finland and Australia, with most of its 200,000 commercial drone deliveries made Down Under.
Wing’s drones, which weigh about 10 pounds, can fly up to 65 mph and carry a maximum of 3.3 pounds of goods, the report stated. Deliveries are made within 10 minutes of their dispatch. The drones have a range of about 12 miles round trip.
In the announcement, Wing Chief Technology Officer Adam Woodworth called the Thursday (April 7) launch “an important milestone for Wing and drone delivery in the US”
“I do want to set clear expectations: not everyone who lives within range of our drones will be able to order on Day 1,” he wrote in the announcement. “We’re going to invite customers in groups to make sure everyone has a good first experience with drone delivery.”
The growth in demand for food delivery remains, even as inflation and labor challenges continue to put additional pressures on the channel.
read more: Drone Food Delivery Scales up as Restaurants, Consumers Seek Cost-Friendly Options
Companies are using robotic delivery with sidewalk robots and drones to meet increasingly high demands from restaurants, third-party aggregators and consumers.
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