Wing, Google parent Alphabet’s subsidiary working on drone-based delivery, is now working on a quiet and noiseless drones. The company announced its plans after the Australian town Bonython’s residents where the drone is being tested reported complaints about the noise pollution by the drones.
Wing is testing its drone delivery system in the Australian township of Bonython. The company has not conducted any operations in USA owing to stricter regulation about drones in the country. An attempt by Wing to deliver Starbucks in America was wrapped up immediately. Wing has already successfully delivered thousands of items in Australia including home accessories, burritos, pizza, medicines. The company has also announced plans to start a drone delivery system in Finland on trial basis. The drones will be able to lift weights up to 1.5 Kg and less over a 10 Km distance.
But Australian experience of drones has been less than pleasing as the residents of the town reported the drone sounds as if chainsaw went ballistic. Residents are avoiding to go into their yards to avoid the irritable sound. Dog owners are avoiding the areas with drones as the drone sound make the dogs nervous. It has also triggered PTSD symptoms in military veterans. These complaints have raised questions on the commercial viability of adopting drone. This could create hurdles in large scale adoption of commercial drones.
Wing tried to address the resident’s complaints by changing the route of drones from frequent routes so that the drones don’t fly on the same homes and also by reducing the speed of drones. Learning from these experiences, the company has announced plans to design and build quitter drones. The company has reportedly developed a new propeller which creates low pitched sounds rather than ‘ballistic’ ones. The new drone has not yet been tested.
Wing claims that its battery powered drones are environment friendly compared to ground-based delivery. The promise of quick delivery along with environmental advantage of 22 times lesser carbon footprint than conventional alternatives has intrigued businesses and customers alike.
Drone technology is disrupting industries ranging from agriculture, retail to filmmaking. As large conglomerates like Amazon, Alphabet invest heavily on the commercial adoption of drone technology, concerns ranging from economic impact, its use in espionage operations and national security have made their way in the mainstream discussions. A recent PwC report suggests that commercial drone applications will replace $127 billion of human labor and jobs across a wide range of industries.