To date, drone use has typically focused on areas such as aerial photography for real estate, business or product promotion and industrial. How would you feel about a drone delivering packages to your front door? Too many concerns for safety or the inevitable future of mail delivery?
Alphabet X, the formerly known Google X are about to begin trials of their drone delivery system in the Canberra region. The company launched an initiative called Project Wing in 2014 in which a package of Cherry Ripes was delivered to a QLD farmer.
The company aims to work toward a future in which these aircraft can deliver everything from consumer goods to emergency medicine. The drones will fly pre-planned routes on demand using sensors and software to detect and avoid one another in real time. They have developed an architecture with redundant motors, batteries and even navigation systems with intelligent controls so backup systems can help keep aircraft safely in flight.
This could mean a boost in business for drone operators and drone hire companies alike in the foreseeable future.
The trial of Project Wing will take place just outside of Canberra in the new development of Googong where Mr Burgess says residents are ‘quite positive to new technology and innovation’. The area around Googong and Canberra provides a suitable test area due to the sparsely populated area. Mr Burgess said.
CASA has been working closely with the project managers working on Project Wing to ensure safety is the primary priority. The new drone includes 12 hover motors that allow for greater safety in case of
emergency. CASA spokesman Peter Gibson said safety was a concern, saying ‘We’re very keen to foster this innovation and development, providing the safety precautions are met.’ Mr Burgess mirrors this sentiment saying ‘Safety comes first for us. There are risks in everyday situations. Even with a delivery driver taking an automobile, that’s not a zero-risk’.
Project Wing drones can deliver packages of up to 1.5kg, and the Googong area could benefit from the drone delivery system by having packages delivered as there is no shopping precinct currently built. The drones, which differ to the model used in QLD originally will be tested in the Fernleigh Park area over the next 2-3 weeks Mr Burgess told the Canberra Times.
Locals in the area welcome the innovative technology and have had a very positive reaction. The fact that there are limited populated areas in Googong allow for a safe environment for testing
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