Wing’s Reconsideration of Drone Delivery Strategy Triggered by Curbside Pickup Implementation

The use of drone delivery for e-commerce still seems like a far-fetched idea for scalability, but it has been successfully implemented in smaller, controlled areas such as the Google satellite campus in the Palo Alto foothills. The buildings in this area are home to companies like Nest and Wing, which are divisions of Google. Wing is responsible for the fixed-wing drones commonly seen hovering above the area. The company has been focusing on delivering to dense suburban areas as this is where demand for delivery skyrocketed during the pandemic. Wing has now developed a passive system called the AutoLoader that allows customers to receive their deliveries through curbside pickup without an employee present. The drone will hover above the AutoLoader, lowering a tether to pick up the package before dropping it at the pickup spot determined by the customer. Wing plans to roll out the AutoLoader by the end of the year in some parts of their operation, with full implementation by mid-next year. The company has completed over 340,000 deliveries and has built thousands of drones. Australia is the primary market with the highest number of deliveries, followed by the US with Europe being a distant third.

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