Google is taking packages into the air to customers’ homes.
The first drone home deliveries of packages from Walgreens have started from Wing, the Alphabet subsidiary.
Wing recently received an expanded Air Carrier Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration allowing the first commercial air delivery service by drone directly to homes in the U.S.
The FAA permissions are the first allowing multiple pilots to oversee multiple unmanned aircraft making commercial deliveries to the general public simultaneously.
Collaborating with Federal Express and Virginia retailer Sugar Magnolia, Wing began delivering over-the-counter medication, gifts and snacks to residents of Christiansburg, Virginia.
FedEx completed the first scheduled ecommerce drone delivery on Friday, essentially beginning the connection of retailers to last-mile drone delivery services.
In another first, Walgreens pioneered the delivery of over-the-counter medications and convenience items by drone.
Customers can order products via the Wing App and can opt in to receive the items via FedEx Express delivered by drone, which lowers the packages to a designed location in a yard or driveway.
Walgreens is not the only retailer looking at drone deliveries.
Walmart recently filed a patent application for a system for retrieving a package delivered by an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or drone, as I wrote about here at the time (Walmart Files Patent For Drone Deliveries).
FedEx is also not the only delivery service looking at drones.
The FAA recently gave approval to UPS Flight Forward Inc. to operate an entire drone airline, with no limits on the size or scope of operation, allowing UPS to fly an unlimited number of drones with an unlimited number of remote operations.
Drones are finally getting a serious test of commercial consumer use.