Google's aspirations to extend the reach of its innovative drone delivery service has encountered a number of issues and plans to begin a wider launch of the product that have been put on hold. Google's parent company Alphabet, a leading software company, has revealed its ambitious plan for a marketplace that could order anything from a coffee to toilet paper and have it within minutes.
The drone-delivery service was given the green light from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to begin testing the autonomous aerial vehicles in the United States. However, it has now been revealed from a former employee of Alphabet that the company has suffered a number of issues with the technology itself.
In September, the company successfully delivered its first burrito from Chipotle, to a student in Virginia Tech. In addition to that, Alphabet entered into partnerships with a number of companies such as Starbucks, Whole Foods Market and Domino's Pizza to carry out a series of tests and trials as part of its Wing Marketplace strategy. However, it emerged that Starbucks exited the negotiations after disagreeing with Alphabet over access to customer data.
Last month, Domino's Pizza made its first delivery by drone in New Zealand and it plans to expand the service to a bigger area in the forthcoming months. Domino's boss, Don Meij says the aerial technique could catch on as it beats traffic and cuts waiting time.
"DRU Drone by Flirtey offers the promise of safer, faster deliveries to an expanded delivery area, meaning more customers can expect to receive a freshly-made order within our ultimate target of 10 minutes. They can avoid traffic congestion and traffic lights, and safely reduce the delivery time and distance by travelling directly to customers' homes. This is the future. Our customers are excited about the possibility of drone deliveries and we are thrilled to be working with local families as we test and expand this technology."
An article which circulated in the Wall Street Journal reported that Alphabet's 'X' division could experience more turbulence in the coming months following the admission made by a former employee of the firm. The anonymous source made the claim that it was Alphabet's goal to complete 1,000 flights without incident, but it never made it past 300.
Some of the reasons cited as to what the problems were ranged from repeated power failures, multiple crashes, wandering off course, or attempting to land in trees. Alphabet's X division is a moon-shot project, so technical issues are expected throughout the process. With the former employee summing it up by saying: "Alphabet is a software company, not an airplane company."