Drone-based delivery company Wing, a subsidiary of Google's parent company Alphabet, announced on Oct. 20 a partnership with Walgreens to bring the unconventional delivery model to densely populated metropolitan areas in the country. The first operation will soon be set up at an unspecified, Dallas-Fort Worth area Walgreens store in its parking lot, and will serve parts of Frisco and Little Elm.
Walgreens employees will process orders and load packages onto the delivery drones, according to a news release, and Wing will oversee operations of the delivery service.
“The aircraft will arrive in small containers that serve as tiny hangars, allowing each store to quickly and easily deploy a small, dedicated fleet from its parking lot, on its roof or in small spaces adjacent to the building,” a news release from Wing said.
In addition, Wing announced a partnership with Hillwood to prepare a separate drone delivery facility within the mixed-use development Frisco Station. Wing said it will work with Hillwood to deploy a delivery facility at Frisco Station that will have the usual delivery capabilities and will also explore new use cases and hold community demonstrations and school field trips.
“Until now, this type of service in the United States has been limited to smaller towns, where land usage is less crowded and complex,” the release said. “Wing’s reliable aircraft and advanced flight planning and routing capabilities make it uniquely capable of operating a highly automated drone delivery service in more crowded, complex operating environments.”
A small number of test flights will begin soon in Frisco and Little Elm. Wing said it hopes to set up delivery demonstrations for community feedback in the coming weeks. In the coming months, the company expects to launch a commercial service.