Alphabet, a Google subsidiary has become the first company in the U.S to use drones as a delivery service. The drones, also known as ‘Wing,’ made their first deliveries during a pilot program on Friday afternoon in the small city of Christiansburg, Virginia.
The drones were tasked with delivering packages from FedEx and Walgreens, which included over-the-counter medication, gifts, and snacks.
Alphabet became the first drone company to receive Federal Aviation Administration approval earlier this year, allowing them permission to deliver small commercial packages in selected cities of Virginia.
When an order is placed, the yellow and white drones are loaded with packages weighing up to 1.3 kg, and are able to deliver within a 10km radius. Once the drones have arrived at their destination, they don’t land on the ground and wait for the customer. Instead, the drone gently lowers the package down on a high strength cable.
The company says they hope to replace the conventional methods of delivery with their new drone system. The ultimate goal aimed at is reducing the number of delivery vehicles clogging up the roads today. Alphabet promises to deliver packages within minutes of the order being placed to customers who live in Christiansburg’s designated delivery zones, with no extra fees for the deliveries.
While Alphabet is the first company to deliver consumer goods in the U.S by drones. UPS had also been granted permission to use drones as a delivery service, but the company have stuck to only delivering supplies to hospitals and medical campuses for now.