Wing‘s drone delivery trial in Christianburg, VA will continue as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s BEYOND program, the next phase of the now complete UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP.)
Google’s spin-off Wing has been a leader in pushing forward residential drone delivery of everyday items in the U.S. and overseas. Their initial program in Christianburg, VA partnered with major retailers like Walgreens and FedEx as well as local businesses. The program has proven to be very successful. Both residents and businesses benefit from Wing’s drone delivery program, as a Wing press release explains:
As a result of COVID-19, we saw an increase for our service grow by 500% from February-April, as our technology helped people get the things they need without human-to-human contact. With Walgreens, we expanded our offering to include more products designed to help families stay at home — including grocery items like pasta, canned tuna, soups, fruit cups and baby food.
We’ve also partnered with additional local eateries, who told us that drone delivery is helping them offset some of the revenue losses from the lack of walk-in customers. The owner of Mockingbird Cafe, a Christiansburg (Va.) bakery, says drone delivery has accounted for about 25% of sales during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We launched the world’s first drone delivery library service to Montgomery County school students, based on the recommendation of a local librarian.
“With the help of the Christiansburg community and Virginia Tech’s MAAP, Wing has been able to offer the most advanced drone delivery service on US soil over the past year. We’re excited to participate with the FAA and DOT in BEYOND, which is an important next step to enable further advancements in the U.S. drone industry,” says James Ryan Burgess, CEO of Wing.
“Last October, Wing launched America’s first residential drone delivery service to homes as part of the UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP). Partnered with Walgreens, Fedex, and a number of local businesses, we delivered health and wellness items, packages, meals, snacks and beverages on-demand to the homes of thousands of residents in Christiansburg, VA.”
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