Wing, Alphabet’s experimental drone delivery service, is expanding from grocery delivery in Queensland to food delivery in partnership with DoorDash.
The two tech companies have teamed up with real estate giant Mirvac to launch drone-delivered meals from food retailers that have signed up to DoorDash from Orion Springfield Central shopping center in Ipswich. The option is called ‘DoorDash Air’ and includes the popular chain of stores Sushi Hub.
Late last year, Wing began a grocery delivery trial from Coles on the Gold Coast. The drones used have a wingspan of 1.3 meters, weigh about 5 kg and fly at a speed of about 110 km/h.
The Google sister company launched in Australia in 2019 as the first place to test the viability of commercial drone delivery after five years of development. The two main test locations were Canberra and Logan in Queensland, where coffee, fast food and roast chickens were delivered.
The new delivery operation has the backing of Ipswich City Council. Ipswich is the fastest growing city in the state and its population is expected to grow to more than 453,000 by 2041.
Wing has traditionally provided delivery services directly to residential and business customers, but is now stepping up its partnerships with real estate and logistics companies to expand their delivery options and is looking to explore other in-demand regions in urban areas where drone delivery is possible.
Wing Australia MD Simon Rossi said on-demand drone delivery helps tackle the costly last-mile delivery challenge for lightweight goods.
“It reduces traffic congestion and emissions while creating new economic opportunities for retailers and communities,” he said.
Mirvac transforms part of the Orion Springfield Central parking lot into a launching area for the drones.
Wing also has one partnership with DoorDas which delivers food from the Grand Plaza shopping center in Logan, Queensland.