Technological progress is like that fable of the frog in the boiling water. We don’t all of a sudden stop and realise just how crazy things have gotten around us, because the change has been gradual. The technological leaps between, say, 1995 and now are absolutely astounding. And yet, they’re not impressive, because things have been gradually changing our entire lives. There are a few things genuinely make me have that ‘Oh fuck, we’re in the future!’ feeling: Copying and pasting between my phone and my computer, how good Snapchat filters are, and the likely future ubiquity of drone-based delivery services.
Drone couriers have been floated and trialled as an idea for years now, but it seemed unlikely that anything like this would grace the delightfully backwards shores of Australia any time in the near future. For most of us, this is indeed the case. For a select few people in Canberra, the future is right goddamn now.
Wing, a subsidiary Google parent company Alphabet, has announced today that they have received the go-ahead to start conducting their air delivery service in three suburbs: Crace, Palmerston and Franklin. According to Business Insider, a spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority confirmed that they had approved the program for 100 houses following a successful trial.
According to Wing, they conducted an 18-month trial in the suburbs of Fernleigh Park, Royalla and Bonython, conducting 3,000 test flights and collecting community feedback. Part of the feedback they received was complaints about the noise the drones generated, prompting the design of a quieter drone.
Lucky customers will use a mobile app to order from a list of different service providers. So far, the list includes Kickstart Expresso, Capital Chemist, Pure Gelato, Jasper + Myrtle, Bakers Delight, Guzman Y Gomez, and Drummond Golf. I’m just as confused as you about the inclusion of Drummond Golf.
If the program proves successful, Wing has plans to expand the trial to more customers in Harrison and Gungahlin “in the coming weeks and months“.