Global tech

Want sushi from a shopping centre? There’s a drone for that

- April 20, 2023 2 MIN READ
Wing shopping centre drones
The Wing drones at the Ipswich shopping centre. Photo: supplied

Alphabet’s experimental drone delivery service, Wing, is branching out from delivering supermarket groceries in Queensland to meal delivery in a partnership with DoorDash. 

The two tech companies have team up with property giant Mirvac to launch drone delivered meals from food retailers signed up on DoorDash from Orion Springfield Central shopping centre in Ipswich. The option is called ‘DoorDash Air’ and includes the popular mall chain Sushi Hub.

Late last year, Wing began a trial delivering groceries from Coles on the Gold Coast. The drones used have a wingspan of 1.3 metres, weigh about 5kg and travel at around 110km/h.

The Google sibling business launched in Australia 2019 as the first place to test the viability of commercial drone delivery after five years of development. The two major trial sites have been Canberra and Logan in Queensland, delivering coffees, fast food and roast chickens.

The new delivery operation has the backing of Ipswich City Council. Ipswich is the state’s fastest-growing city, with the population forecast to grow to more than 453,000 by 2041.

Wing has traditionally provided delivery services directly to residential and business customers, but is now ramping up its partnerships with real estate and logistics businesses to expand their delivery options and is seeking out other high-demand regions in urban areas where drone delivery.

Wing Australia MD Simon Rossi said on-demand drone delivery helps address the costly last-mile delivery challenge for lightweight goods.

“It reduces road congestion and emissions while creating new economic opportunities for retailers and communities,” he said.

Mirvac is transforming a section of the Orion Springfield Central carpark as the launch area for the drones.

Wing also has a partnership with DoorDas delivering food from the Grand Plaza shopping centre in Logan, Queensland.

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