Google parent Alphabet is testing drone delivery of burritos and medicine rural Australia

 
Lynsey Barber
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Drone delivery just got tasty in Australia thanks to Alphabet (Source: Alphabet)

While Amazon might have gone for the green pastures of Cambridgeshire for its first commercial drone flight, but Google's parent company Alphabet has decided on somewhere a little more remote for its own testing.

Part of the tech giant's secretive Project X "moonshot" work, the unmanned aerial vehicles are dropping two very important supplies to isolated rural areas in Australia: burritos and medicine.

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"This fall we’ve been testing in a rural community on the border of the ACT [Australian Capital Territory] and NSW [New South Wales] and tackling an entirely different level of operational complexity: making deliveries directly to people’s yards," the leader of Project Wing (as the drone efforts are known) James Ryan Burgess said in a blog post.

Now, a Mexican food chain Guzman y Gomez and pharmacy Chemist Warehouse are joining the delivery tests to "alpaca farmers, math professors, equestrians, and artists (not to mention a few curious kangaroos) ".

Residents in the area face a usual round trip of 40 minutes to get anything from the shops.

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The tech company will also look at how it can work with the rural fire service in the area at times of fire or flooding emergencies in the weeks to come, it said.

"Last year at Virginia Tech, our first deliveries with members of the public were in an open field, not to a specific address or location. Now, with each delivery, we encounter a new yard space with its own layout of trees, sheds, fences, and power lines. That means that in addition to learning what people want delivered, we also have to learn how to best deliver items to people," said Burgess.

Watch: Alphabet's Project X drone delivery tests in Australia

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