While progress has clearly been made in recent years, there are still a number of barriers that prevent drone distribution services from entering the mainstream.
The top of the list, of course, is safety, and regulators want clear evidence that no independent aircraft flying overhead will suddenly collide with an obstacle – or each other – and endanger people on the ground.
Another problem that receives less attention is noise. If drone delivery really becomes a part of the daily lives of the urban population, companies developing such aircraft will have to make them much quieter or jeopardize aversion to those annoyed by rotors as the planes fly back and forth during delivery.
With this in mind, the alphabet-owned Wing – one of the leading leaders in the field of aircraft supplies – has been working on a new aircraft design that is said to almost halve the amount of noise caused by the previous model.
It will start operating the machine in the coming weeks in the Canberra suburb of Australia, where the company has been trying out a drone delivery service since 2019.
“We have made thousands of deliveries to customers in Canberra over the past two years, and we have also heard community feedback on our drone noise and overflights in the neighborhood, and we are committed to improving responses to their feedback,” Wing spokesman Jesse Suskin said local media, via DroneDJ.
While the service appears to be generally satisfied with Canberra, some residents still complain about the noise from the Drones as they pass from above.
In a colorful comment that was announced shortly after the launch of the distribution service, a resident said Wing’s drone sounded “The chainsaw has gone ballistic,” while others said the uncomfortable racket made them stop using their yard so much. Several residents in the Canberra suburb of Bonython are so shocked by Wing’s service that they formed a group “to raise awareness of the negative impacts of the drone delivery service on residents, pets and bird life” in the area and to “stop drones and their intrusions in the peace of our suburbs and the environment.”
Residents of Canberra, who use Drone’s distribution service, place orders using the smartphone application. Various local businesses offer a range of productsincluding fresh food, cafe drinks and medicines. After tapping the “Buy” button, one of Wing’s delivery drones rings the customer’s home, floats in the air, and drops the order to the ground through the string.
Despite the complaints, the service has proven to be clearly popular with some people, and Suskin revealed that already in the first months of this year, Wing had delivered more than 50% of the total number of orders shipped in Canberra in 2020.
Is a new, quieter drone enough to stop the complaints, although Wing’s efforts at least show that it is listening and trying to improve the situation for residents.