Wings, a subsidiary of Google parent Alphabet, is opening a new command center. From that center, drones are monitored that bring orders to their location.
Wing is a company that focuses entirely on drone technology, and in particular how those drones can be used to deliver packages. The company now has a new location in the US state of Texas, near Dallas and Fort Worth.
The location has been strategically chosen. Wings already handles shipments for Walgreens, one of the largest drugstore chains in America, in the Dallas and Fort Worth area. Moreover, the location also makes it easy to monitor drones elsewhere. Many Wings drones fly around in other time zones. The first location where the flying delivery drivers were deployed was Virginia. The time there is one hour ahead of the time in Texas. That way there is no need for staff to be present all night. Wings has a similar location in California and plans to add more.
At The Verge they could watch how the deliveries exactly work. In the parking lot of the Walgreens store in Texas, a number of drones are charging in a ‘nest’. There they wait until they receive an order and a product to deliver. In principle, the drones are able to travel 9.5 kilometers in this way. Nevertheless, parcels are only delivered within a radius of just over 7 kilometers to avoid problems.
When an order comes in, the employees at the Wings center relay the orders to the drones. They calculate the best route themselves and then leave for their destination. Employees at the Wings center use software to monitor drone flights. If the weather turns bad, they have the option to cancel the drone flights. The employees do not operate the drones themselves: there is not even any equipment for this in the command post.
Wings in Europa
Wings has now completed about 300,000 deliveries. Most of these deliveries are made in Australia, where coffee is the most frequently transported product. On our side of the ocean, Wings already operates in Helsinki. Soon there will also be a first European branch of Wings in Ireland, near Dublin.