A Google offshoot will pave the way for commercial drone deliveries in the U.S. after getting the green light from the FAA. The precedent, which was foreshadowed by the FAA's Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Executive Director, Jay Merkle, last month, is a major step for commercial drones in the U.S. where regulators have been slow to allow widespread usage. Approval of the drones, which will be operated by a company called Wing, effectively classifies the company as a small aircraft operator -- a determination that carries a stringent set of mandatory guidelines. Wing has scored another major victory with its recent approval from the FAA in the U.S. Wing, the first commercial drone company approved by the FAA in the U.S. will start delivering in Virginia. The drones is powered entirely by electric and can fly up to 120 km/h (almost 75 mph).
Drone delivery service Wing is launching its own air-traffic control app to keep its craft safe in the skies. The company, owned by Google-parent Alphabet, recently started making deliveries in parts of Australia and Finland. Wing's new iOS and Android app aims to'help users comply with rules and plan flights more safely and effectively,' providing a rundown of airspace restrictions and hazards as well as events nearby that could interfere. The new app, Open Sky, is being released to drone flyers in Australia this month according to Wing. 'The design of our software has required a detailed understanding of flight rules -- along with buildings, roads, trees, and other terrain -- that allow aircraft to navigate safely at low altitudes, and we've used it to complete tens of thousands of flights on three continents,' Wing said in a blog post.
Walgreens is getting its wings. The pharmacy chain has teamed up with Alphabet's drone delivery service Wing to bring food and beverage, over-the-counter medication and other items to consumers. This'store to door' testing is set to begin next month in Virginia and will offer more than 100 products and pre-built'packs' for purchase in the Wing app. Walgreens has teamed up with Alphabet's drone delivery service Wing to bring food and beverage, over-the-counter medication and other items to consumers The partnership between Walgreens and Wing aims to further explore the future of health and wellness products and retail delivery through the air, offering product availability and home delivery minutes after placing orders via the Wing app. 'Walgreens continues to explore partnerships to transform and modernize our customer experience and we are proud to be the first retailer in the U.S. to offer an on-demand commercial drone delivery option with Wing,' said Vish Sankaran, chief innovation officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., in a press release.
As of this afternoon, select residents of Christiansburg, Virginia can tap drones operated by Google parent company Alphabet's Wing for quick and easy deliveries of packages, over-the-counter medications, snacks, and gifts. The company today revealed that it's become the first to operate a commercial air delivery service directly to homes in the U.S., with the launch of a previously announced pilot involving FedEx Express, Walgreens, and local Virginia retailer Sugar Magnolia. From Walgreens, the first retail pharmacy to partner with Wing in the U.S., drone fleets will ferry over-the-counter medicines and other wellness items to folks' homes. And on the FedEx Express side, recipients living within designated Christiansburg zones who opt in will receive some shipments via drone, in customized boxes. Most orders within the four-mile radius of Wing's distribution facility are fulfilled within about 10 minutes, according to the company.
After years of development, Alphabet's drone delivery service Wing is officially open for business. The company announced the beginning of service for residents of Christiansburg, Virginia, who will be able to order over-the-counter medication, snacks, and other small items and have them airlifted straight to their homes by a drone. Initially, Wing will deliver goods on behalf of three partner companies with FedEx, Walgreens, and Super Magnolia, a local Virginia grocery store chain. After years of preparation, Alphabet's drone delivery service Wing has officially begun operations in Christiansburg, Virginia The company made the announcement via a blog post on Medium and included a video showing how the delivery service will work. The FAA approved Alphabet's drone delivery program in March, and the company announced it's plans for'store to door' of more than 100 products in Virginia last September.