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Coming soon: A drone delivery service? | TECH(feed)

Network World | Apr 25, 2019

There’s been buzz for years about the potential drones have to change the way we get packages delivered. In a huge step towards making this a reality, the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States gave approval to a drone aviation company, Wing, for commercial drone delivery service. The future of delivery seems to be around the corner, but when will this service actually roll out? Check out this episode of TECH(feed) to learn more.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

Hey everyone welcome back to tech feed i’m juliet beauchamp. Today i’m diving deep into drones--can these seemingly futuristic devices really change the way we get things delivered? Stick around.

So some quick background here--the reason we’re talking about this is because the f-a-a here in the united states gave air carrier certification to a drone delivery company. That company is called wing, and it’s owned by google’s parent company, alphabet. Pretty exciting, right? Well… not so fast.

Wing still has a lot of hoops to jump through before any of us start getting our pizza delivered by a drone instead of, you know, a human. Just a few weeks ago, wing rolled out its air delivery service for a handful of homes in the suburbs of canberra, australia. That came after years of testing its service in the country and over three thousand deliveries during that test period. And even though this is an official roll out still has a lot of limits--no night time deliveries, no crossing main roads, rules about keeping the drones away from people… and those eligible to receive packages from drones need safety briefings.

So suffice to say it’ll be a bit before our skies are swarming with drones… first off, commercial drone deliveries will be limited to southwest virginia. And they can only be flown during the day in good weather. They also can’t fly above 400 feet--that way they avoid helicopters and planes, which fly at altitudes higher than 500 feet. It’s also important to remember that, no matter how futuristic they seem, these drones aren’t flying themselves. One operator can fly up to five drones remotely.

In theory, drone delivery seems enticing. If you’re sick, you don’t have to leave your house to buy medicine. If you’re hungry, well, you can still order food… it’ll be delivered by something a little more eco-friendly. And there’s been talk for years about how to incorporate drones into retail environments. Jeff bezos famously predicted drones would be making deliveries by 2018… as in, last year. Walmart dreamt up a plan to have drones take customer’s purchases from the store to their cars… eliminating the use of… carts?

So yeah, there’s still a way to go for drone delivery. Public safety is a concern, and plenty of people are still hesitant about the idea of drones buzzing near their homes. Don’t expect all of wing’s progress to go away though. Roll out may be slow, but the company plans to partner with communities in southwest virginia in an effort to figure out the best way to launch delivery service.

Thanks for watching this episode of tech feed. If you like this video, be sure to give it a thumbs up and subscribe to our channel. And let me know if you’d be willing to receive drone deliveries… or are you hesitant to accept them going mainstream? See you next time.
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