clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

There’s been a surge in Alphabet’s drone traffic. Here’s what Americans are asking for

Delivered by drone? It’s happening

In this Tuesday, Aug, 7, 2018, photo a Wing Hummingbird drone carries a package of ice cream and popsicles as it leaves its launch site during a delivery flight demonstration in Blacksburg, Va.
In this Tuesday, Aug, 7, 2018, photo a Wing Hummingbird drone carries a package of ice cream and popsicles as it leaves its launch site during a delivery flight demonstration in Blacksburg, Va. Wing, a subsidiary of Google’s parent corporation Alphabet, hasn’t been allowed to fly long distances, over people and beyond the pilot’s line of sight. That changed when Virginia was selected as one of 10 areas to participate in an experimental program that would lower barriers on the technology.
Michael Shroyer via Associated Press

Alphabet’s Wing company is seeing an increase in customers using its delivered-by-drone service amid the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg reports.

What’s happening:

  • Customers have been using the company Wing for drone deliveries during the pandemic. Americans in Virginia have been buying products like toilet paper, baby foods and pastries during their quarantine.
  • Wing began a test program in October. It has now added a slew of new vendors to its list.
  • “The technology is particularly useful at a time when people are homebound in many cases and the need to limit human-to-human contact is important,” spokesman Jonathan Bass told Bloomberg.
  • The Christiansburg, Virginia, area increased the amount of deliveries, Bloomberg reports.

There are other ways to use drones

  • Drones aren’t just being used for deliveries. Americans have found multiple ways to use the technology to make experiences a little better during lockdown.
  • For one, Americans are using drone footage to give virtual tours to show off new locations, CNET reports.
  • The Chinese government, meanwhile, has used drones to find sick people who are walking around in the public arena, according to The Wall Street Journal. In a similar light, Britain has used drones to locate people violating social distancing orders and then sharing those videos on social media, according to The New York Times.
  • And then, in a really funny manner, drones are being used to walk the dog. People will stay inside and let their drones hold the dog leashes, according to the Daily Mail.