Wing Announces Next Phase for Delivery Network, Introduces Autoloader for Curbside Pickup
by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby
Alphabet’s Wing has been working towards providing safe and efficient drone delivery as part of an automated logistics system capable of transporting packages by the millions.
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Recently, the company has worked to integrate its drone delivery with existing delivery infrastructure for restaurants and retailers. Wing has launched delivery services from parking lots and rooftops, integrated with major delivery apps, and has delivered as many as one thousand packages per day in a delivery region of over 100,000 people. These efforts have largely been directed toward the development of Wing Delivery Network, a decentralized, automated logistics platform able to support high-volume drone delivery across a major metro area or a more sparsely populated region. Check out Wing’s video on the Delivery Network:
Wing Delivery Network is managed by logistics automation software that constantly allocates hardware resources at a city or metro-wide scale. The software manages delivery drones, “pads,” where drones takeoff, land, and recharge between trips, and “Autoloaders,” which enable its partners to preload packages for automatic pickup. Drones within the Wing Delivery Network can pick up, drop off, travel, and charge in whatever order is most effective for the entire system. See the Autoloader in action:
Wing’s Autoloader allows delivery drones to perform curbside pickup on behalf of the consumer. The Autoloader includes an area for employees to latch packages before the drone arrives. Once the system confirms a package has been dropped off, a drone is dispatched to pick it up and deliver it to the customer, all without the requirement of a power or data connection.
The network is easy to integrate and deploy. Businesses can incorporate drone delivery by simply ordering drones, turning them on, and allowing them to connect to the network. Pilots can oversee fleets of autonomous delivery drones to guarantee safe and efficient operation. Pad locations can be easily added, with the drones themselves used as the surveying tools to update and expand the network. Wing Delivery Network is also able to automate compliance with regulation, with the aircraft checking that it’s in the correct location, has the correct software, and is ready and approved to fly each time it powers on.
Various elements of Wing Delivery Network capabilities are planned to be released over the next 12 months. By mid 2024, the system is anticipated to be capable of handling tens of millions of deliveries for millions of consumers at a lower cost per delivery than ground transportation can achieve for fast delivery of small packages.
Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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