Today, Google announced a world first: drone deliveries straight to clients’ houses from a mall. Delivery usually takes 10-15 minutes, with two to three minutes of that time taken up by flight time. Two minutes and 47 seconds is the current world record. “This is about 50 times more efficient than a gas-powered vehicle,” Jonathan Bass, Wing’s head of marketing and communications, told me in a recent TechFirst podcast. “[It’s] probably ten times more efficient than an electric car.”
Is there only one key? Using spare space on the roofs of shopping malls for drone stations. Wing, like Google, is an Alphabet subsidiary (Google created Alphabet as a holding company for all its divisions in 2015). It has been testing drone delivery since 2017, with extensive ongoing operations over the previous two years, at three key test sites throughout the world: Queensland, Australia, Christiansburg, Virginia, and Helsinki, Finland.
We’re co-locating our drones with businesses at their locations for the first time, rather than having local businesses co-locate their items with us at our delivery center. On-demand drone delivery can help enterprises address the costly last-mile delivery challenge, reduce road congestion and emissions, and create new economic opportunities by utilizing their existing retail space as logistics hubs and fulfillment centers. It can help businesses address the costly last-mile delivery challenge, reduce road congestion and emissions, and create new economic opportunities.