Google's parent company Alphabet is moving ahead with plans to service Helsinki with flying robotic couriers, today announcing the launch of a forthcoming delivery drone service for the Finnish capital. Sometime in the coming weeks, residents of the city will be able to order food items by phone, to have them dropped off by Wing drones.
Alphabet has been working to perfect its drone technology since 2014, putting its aircraft to the test in Australia from that year onwards. More recently, it has been collaborating with businesses on the ground with a view to establishing a drone delivery service in the capital of Canberra, and recently gained approval from the authorities to kick off commercial operations to that effect.
Notably, it received similar approval from aviation regulators in the US last month, paving the way for the company to deliver items from business and households there, too.
The program in Helsinki was announced back in December, and the company has been running workshops with residents to conjure up ideas around the best way to implement the service and what items they'd like to have delivered. It has also been validating its technology north of Helsinki over the harsh Finnish winter, with all systems now ready to go.
The fixed-wing drones, which can carry up to 1.5 kg (3.3 lb) and cover around 20 km (12 mi) on each charge, will now be put to work over Helsinki's Vuosaari area, the city's most populated district. According to Alphabet, this makes it an ideal place to launch its service in Finland.
Some of the items customers will be able to order include lasagna, pastries, salads, salmon sandwiches and meatballs, which will be provided by two local businesses, the Herkku Food Market and Cafe Monami. The company made the official announcement today (May 17th), with the service to kick off sometime in June.
Source: Wing Medium
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