Wing, a unit of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, announced a significant increase in the number of customers using its drone delivery service in rural Virginia during the outbreak. The U.S. government approved a wing testing program last October, the company said in a statement Wednesday, adding daily shipments and adding new suppliers to expand products that customers can order to better serve users during the outbreak.
Spokesman Jonathan Bass said: “In many cases people stay at home, which is particularly useful in the context of the need to limit human contact. “
Drone deliveries more than doubled in the Fort Christian area of Virginia and in a similar project in Australia, Bass said.
In addition to working with FedEx and walgreens drugstore chains, Wing recently began shipping from a bakery and a coffee shop.
On the first weekend of the partnership, Mockingbird Cafe sold 50 percent more pastries than in-store selling in stores.
Walgreens says it delivers toilet paper, medicine and toothpaste through wing drones. The company has also recently added items such as pasta and baby food to meet the need for people to stay at home.
Bass said that while the Wing drone has a limited payload, the order can be completed in minutes.
The project is being carried out in a community near Christianfort. Wing works with nearby Virginia Tech, which has a drone test program approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Amazon, UPS and many smaller companies are also testing drone delivery.