MEXICAN takeaway chain Guzman Y Gomez has teamed up with Google's parent company Alphabet to begin trialling commercial drone deliveries.
Alphabet's innovation lab will partner with Guzman Y Gomez and Chemist Warehouse to trail drone deliveries in rural New South Wales.
The initiative, named Project Wing, will facilitate the delivery of Guzman's menu and nearly 100 Chemist Warehouse products to households in Royalla, which is on the border of New South Wales and the ACT.
Those living in Royalla will be able to have Guzman food delivered to them by a drone using an app on smartphones.
Drones will deliver Guzman's Mexican food directly into the backyards or doorsteps of customers.
The Project Wing initiative is the largest-scale drone trial in Australia so far. The Civil Aviation and Safety Authority (CASA) has given the project the green light, after it backed a drone delivery trial by Australia Post earlier this year.
Project Wing co-lead James Ryan Burgess says this technology will revolutionise the lives of those living in rural communities who often don't have fast access to staple goods.
"Residents near our testing area on the outskirts of the ACT live and idyllic country lifestyle on 10-acre blocks of rolling land spotted with gum trees and horses," says Burgess.
"But they face a 40-minute round trip in the car for almost anything, whether it's a carton of milk, veggies for dinner, or a cup of coffee."
For the purposes of the trial, Guzman have built a custom mobile kitchen called the 'Drone Mothership' where the food will be cooked and packaged for drone delivery.
The Mexican food company is excited about the possibilities of drone delivery for the food industry.
"In the same way delivery by car has changed the way we eat, we hope that drone delivery may be the next evolution of food delivery," says Guzman Y Gomez in a blogpost.
"GYG is on a mission to reinvent fast food for the 21st century. We believe fast food doesn't have to be bad food but we also want to reinvent delivery channels and provide convenience to our customers by making GYG available, anytime, anyhow, anywhere. Drone delivery is simply the next evolution in delivery and we wanted to be part of this ground-breaking moment."
The drones can carry a one kilogram load and can travel at speeds of up to 120 kilometres an hour. If successful, the trial could open the doors to expanding the scope of drone delivery in Australia.
Project Wing has been active in Australia, taking advantage of the vast unpopulated countryside to trial drone delivery projects.
Business News Australia