Project Wing, which is part of Google’s parent company Alphabet is getting ready to introduce the world’s first drone delivery service in Australia’s capital Canberra after it received approval from Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) on Tuesday.
For the past 18 months, Project Wing has been doing trials for delivering food and drinks, medication and chocolate, The Guardian reported.
The Australian aviation watchdog said it had signed off on the scheme. The report quotes CASA spokesman Peter Gibson as saying that “safety of the drones, traffic management system, maintenance, drone pilot training and operational plans have been examined.”
The drone delivery service is expected to start with 100 eligible homes in the suburbs of Crace, Palmerston and Franklin in the coming weeks, before expanding into Harrison and Gungahlin, the report adds.
Gibson said that the approval has been granted along with strict conditions, which include daylight operating hours.
The drones are banned from crossing over major roads and there’s a minimum distance they have to maintain from people on the ground. During the trial, noise from the drones had angered some nearby residents who had claimed that it could be heard through double-glazed windows, the report said.
Project Wing’s launch in Australia’s capital means that Alphabet has beaten Amazon in launching the first drone-based delivery service.
Back in 2013, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had said that Amazon’s drone delivery service would be launched in five years, Business Insider reported. Amazon Prime Air as it is called promises a 30 minute delivery via the drones. Amazon currently has Prime Air development centres in the United States, UK, Austria, France and Israel. The company is still testing the vehicles in multiple international locations.