Some Aussie families are getting groceries delivered by drone, part of a world-first trial by tech giant Google.
Google has chosen Canberra as the testing site to perfect the system ahead of a possible global roll out.
So far it’s proving popular, with many receiving their grocery orders delivered within minutes.
“I study and I work and I have the kids full time, so something like ordering my bakery goods, or my chemist goods and having them delivered to my house is just incredible,” drone trial member Samantha Saint said.
Google Wing first tested their drones in Queensland. Over six years they’ve conducted 50,000 test flights.
“What we’re learning here from the community and from other stakeholders is really helping us shape this technology in a way that will apply all around the world,” Google Wing CEO James Ryan Burgess said.
Google Wing’s global flight director is an ex-defence man, who helped develop the Australian Army’s Unmanned Drone Unit.
“At the moment, using ground transportation, it’s a very inefficient, very costly way. We can take goods out to 10 kilometres within a couple of minutes,” Phil Swinsburg, Head of Global Flight Operations at Google Wing said.
Google says this trial is the largest of its type in the world.
The next step is for Google to move into its new headquarters in Canberra, before it looks to roll out drone delivery city-wide.
It’s claimed drone delivery will inject $40 million into the local economy and slash delivery costs for local business.
More than 200 locals on a Facebook protest site say noise is major problem, but Google says it’s developing a new, quieter propeller.
“I think it is the future of home delivery,” Ms Saint said.
“It’s minimum disturbance, it’s got no carbon footprint.”
The regulator, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), is monitoring the trial and will have to approve any expansion.