Google drone deliveries cleared for take-off in Australia

A Google-linked firm will start delivering takeaways and other small items to Canberra residents after the company received approval from aviation watchdogs in Australia on Tuesday.

Drone company “Wing” — an offshoot of Google’s parent company Alphabet — has been trialling deliveries for the last 18 months, but will now be able to go ahead full time.

“We have approved Wing Aviation Pty Ltd to operate ongoing delivery drone operations in North Canberra,” the Civil Aviation Safety Authority said on Tuesday.

The company said it had been delivering “food and drinks, over-the-counter chemist items, and locally-made coffee and chocolate”.

About 3 000 deliveries were made, allowing regulators to judge the project was safe, leading to the first commercial approval in Australia and one of the first anywhere in the world.

Winged drones will only be allowed to fly 11-12 hours a day and they must be piloted, rather than fully automated.

The initial area of operations is only about 100 homes, but that is expected to expand quickly.

The regulator did not look at the noise or privacy impact of the project — two issues that emerged during trials.

Wing argues that drone deliveries reduce traffic and pollution and are quick — being completed in six-10 minutes.

A customer uses an app to order the product, which is loaded onto a drone.


The drone hovers above its destination, lowering the goods down on a winch-like cable before flying away.

In the United States, UPS last month launched that country’s first authorised use of unmanned drones to transport packages to recipients.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Agency
External source
Advertising

Coalition politics and law: The fight over Tshwane

With coalition politics on the rise, particularly in local government, this kind of court case is likely to become more common

High court declares Dudu Myeni delinquent

Disgraced former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni has been declared a delinquent director by the...

SANDF inquiry clears soldiers of the death of Collins Khosa

The board of inquiry also found that it was Khosa and his brother-in-law Thabiso Muvhango who caused the altercation with the defence force members

No back to school for teachers just yet

Last week the basic education minister was adamant that teachers will return to school on May 25, but some provinces say not all Covid-19 measures are in place to prevent its spread
Advertising

Press Releases

Openview, now powered by two million homes

The future of free-to-air satellite TV is celebrating having two million viewers by giving away two homes worth R2-million

Road to recovery for the tourism sector: The South African perspective

The best-case scenario is that South Africa's tourism sector’s recovery will only begin in earnest towards the end of this year

What Africa can learn from Cuba in combating the Covid-19 pandemic

Africa should abandon the neoliberal path to be able to deal with Covid-19 and other health system challenges likely to emerge in future

Coexisting with Covid-19: Saving lives and the economy in India

A staggered exit from the lockdown accompanied by stepped-up testing to cover every district is necessary for India right now

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

Call for applications for the position of GCRO executive director

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory is seeking to appoint a high-calibre researcher and manager to be the executive director and to lead it

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday