Virginia, get ready for some air drops.
Wing, Google’s drone spinoff company operating under parent company Alphabet, announced this week that a pilot program next month will offer Christiansburg, Virginia residents drone deliveries for FedEx, Walgreens, and local shop Sugar Magnolia.
This is Wing’s first U.S. delivery trial. It started testing its store-to-customers flight system in Australia and Finland this year The company that came out of Google’s X division says it’s completed 80,000 flights on three continents.
In April, Wing was granted Federal Aviation Administration certification to operate a drone delivery program. The Virginia trial is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program.
The Wing website has a sign-up link to join the “Early Flyer” waitlist to receive orders by drone — if you live in a delivery zone.
To make deliveries possible, Wing worked with FedEx and Walgreens to build customized boxes to carry medicine, toiletries, food orders, and other items safely on the drone. Deliveries are supposed to be quick, within a few minutes.
Here’s the little guy in flight, carrying a Walgreens package.
Uber and Amazon both have drone delivery plans in the works. Amazon earlier this year showed off its latest Prime Air drone design. Amazon test flights in the UK and California have teased the possibility of Amazon orders arriving within minutes instead of next-day.
In San Diego, Uber Eats piloted delivering food orders to pick-up areas where drivers would then take the meals to customer homes. The FAA selected the southern California city for a drone test program.
Keep an eye on the skies for your next delivery.