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Google extends drone food delivery in Australia

Sushi will take to the skies over Queensland suburbs after Google’s drone division revealed plans to expand airborne deliveries in Australia.

A Google Wing drone food delivery in Logan, Queensland. Photo: AAP

A Google Wing drone food delivery in Logan, Queensland. Photo: AAP

Wing, which operates drones in Canberra and Logan City in Brisbane’s south, will offer flying deliveries to residents in Ipswich for the first time on Thursday after establishing a launch-pad at a shopping centre.

The expansion, in partnership with centre owner Mirvac, the Ipswich City Council and DoorDash, will almost double the number of Queensland suburbs eligible for drone deliveries.

Wing global spokesman Jonathan Bass said the company was keen to increase deliveries in Australia because the service had attracted loyal, regular customers, and the Civil Aviation and Safety Authority had granted it permission to fly over large parts of Queensland.

“We do talk about southeast Queensland as being the drone delivery capital of the world,” Bass said.

“We are doing more direct-to-consumer deliveries here via autonomous drones than anywhere else in the world, and we’ve had such positive responses from Logan and neighbouring suburbs.”

Ipswich residents within a 7km radius of the shopping centre will be able to order flying food deliveries from Sushi Hub from Thursday,with more retailers expected to launch products with Wing next week.

Customers can order using an option within the DoorDash food delivery app.

An area of the Springfield Central shopping centre car park was transformed into a drone hub to launch the service, which Mirvac Retail general manager Kelly Miller said would deliver a more convenient experience for some customers.

“We are always looking at new ways to reimagine our retail spaces to create greater value for our partners and our communities,” she said.

Bass said its service at nearby Logan City, operating since 2019, had proven popular for grocery and food orders, with Boost Juice and coffee orders common in the morning, and sushi orders creating a lunch-time rush.

He said drone deliveries had the potential to take more vehicles off the roads, cutting costs, traffic and emissions.

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“Typically it’s a cheaper method of delivery for consumers, but there’s also a sustainability element,” he said.

“Drones can reduce the number of large cars delivering small parcels on roads, and can reduce greenhouse gases emitted by them.”

Drone deliveries are expected to be part of a $47 billion worldwide industry by 2031, according to Allied Market Research, after receiving an investment boost during the pandemic.

-AAP

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