More drones are swooping in: Wing, the drone delivery division of Google parent company Alphabet, is launching what it calls the first commercial drone delivery service in a major U.S. metropolitan area, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, on Thursday, April 7.
A chatty release from recently-appointed company president Adam Woodworth says they're starting small with service to "tens of thousands" of suburban homes in Frisco and Little Elm, with a goal of expanding based on demand.
Wing first launched in Australia in 2019 where it has done some drone deliveries, but mostly to small towns. The company also operates drones in Christiansburg, Virginia, population approximately 23,000.
They first announced their plans for Texas back in October, and are finally getting it off the ground this week. They're squeaking in right before Flytrex, which announced their drone invasion in Granbury days ago. Drones are a very competitive market and DFW is where it's at.
Wing's drones carry one package at a time, departing from a "nest" and flying at speeds of up to 70 mph. When it gets to your house, it hovers 23 feet in the air and drops the package on a cable into your backyard.
They've staged drones at Walgreens, their primary partner, and will deliver health and wellness products to customer homes via drones. Each Walgreens store will be able to deploy a fleet from their parking lot or roof.
The first Walgreens store to deploy drones is located at 2774 E. Eldorado Pkwy. in Little Elm, which also covers parts of Frisco. Delivery is within a 6-mile range which they say takes 6 minutes.
In addition to Walgreens, Win has formed partnerships with three other partners: Easyvet, to deliver prescription pet medications; first aid kits from Texas Health; and ice cream from Blue Bell Creameries. Yikes, of all the ice cream companies to partner with, after that listeriosis episode in 2015.
In his statement, Woodworth cautioned that not everyone should get their hopes up regarding the drones.
"I do want to set clear expectations: not everyone who lives within range of our drones will be able to order on Day 1," he said. "We’re going to invite customers in groups to make sure everyone has a good first experience with drone delivery."