Not one to be left behind in the drone game, Google announced this week that it too is launching delivery by drone – and going so far as to pinpoint a launch date of 2017.
Tech Times reports that the lead of Google’s “Project Wing” delivery service is in discussions with the Federal Aviation Administration on implementing an air traffic control system for drones that uses cellular and Internet technologies for the coordination of drone flight at heights under 500 feet.
Details on the size and type of drone Google will use, or what kind of packages the service can manage, haven’t been released. Amazon has said its octocopers can carry around up to 5 pounds worth of products – 86 percent of Amazon’s current deliveries fit the bill – to customers within 30 minutes of the order.
Watch an introduction to Google’s Project Wing.
What’s the impact on commercial real estate? The launch of drones as a regular delivery method shifts the supply chain and alters the logistics industry. Delivering an order within 30 minutes means a very short lead time, says IntelliTrack, yet efficiencies can be made with the removal of traffic woes that can adversely affect delivery – traffic jams and stop lights don’t slow down drones.
Automation is critical, says Tim McMahon, founder and contributor of A Lean Journey blog, noting: “A facility that can pick orders and flow them through, without stopping, to an unmanned aircraft for single-piece delivery minimizes, or even eliminates, the batching of orders arriving at the ideal state – a single-piece flow model.”
Kathryn Hamilton, CAE, is Vice President for Marketing and Communications at NAIOP Corporate.