Wing has officially launched a drone delivery service operating from a shopping centre in Ipswich, Queensland.
The company – which is owned by Google parent Alphabet – has partnered with DoorDash to drone-deliver food and other essentials from Mirvac’s Orion Springfield Central shopping centre to surrounding communities.
Simon Rossi, General Manager of Wing Australia, says the DoorDash Air service is a “faster, more convenient, and sustainable” delivery option.
“Businesses need to be able to offer a range of delivery options, with the most appropriate option selected depending on the weight and size of the package,” he said.
“On-demand drone delivery helps address the costly last-mile delivery challenge for lightweight goods. It reduces road congestion and emissions while creating new economic opportunities for retailers and communities.”
Mirvac Retail’s General Manager, Kelly Miller, says that the service supports retailer growth and customer experience, while also creating a “quick, efficient option for smaller orders” through DoorDash.
“At Mirvac, we are always looking at new ways to reimagine our retail spaces to create greater value for our partners and our communities,” she said.
“Working with Wing, we are transforming a section of the Orion Springfield Central carpark to bring new technology to the region, providing another point of connection between customer and retailer, and ultimately deliver a better shopping experience.”
Earlier this month, Rossi told the Australian Aviation podcast that Wing will soon be able to pick up packages from individual businesses, representing a “holy grail” breakthrough for the sector.
“We’re really confident that we will be testing that in the market in Australia in 2023,” he said.
Wing started life in 2012 as one of the first projects at the tech giant’s super-secretive research lab, Google X, alongside its augmented reality eyeglasses and self-driving cars.
It launched its first trials in 2018 before starting more commercial flights the following year in both Canberra and Logan.
Once a customer submits an order via the app, the drone flies to pick up the package at the designated delivery centre before climbing to a cruise height of 45 metres and flying to the destination.
Once there, it hovers and lowers the package to the ground, automatically unclipping the parcel without assistance from the customer.
The business, technically a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet, now conducts more deliveries in Australia than in any other country and has previously dubbed Logan the “drone delivery capital of the world”.
It initially operated from stores located within Google’s distribution centre but then shifted to picking up packages from the roof of shopping malls and then supermarket car parks.