Queensland will become one of the first places in the world to have autonomous drone deliveries when global tech giant Alphabet introduces its Wing service to Logan later this year.
It’s the latest initiative to position Queensland as a global leader in drone technology, with TIQ also supporting a number of drone export and investment opportunities.
Innovation Minister Kate Jones announced in late July that Wing would launch in Logan later this year, after 80,000 test flights around the world, including initial test flights in rural Queensland in 2014.
Deliveries of items up to 1.5kg are expected to be made in Logan in the second half of 2019.
Ms Jones said the new service would create local jobs for drone pilots and help to position Queensland as a leader in the global drone industry.
‘We’re working with the world leaders in drone technology to create jobs for Queenslanders,’ she said.
‘That’s why we’re partnering with Wing today to make sure that we lead the way when it comes to capitalising on the opportunities provided by technological advancements in drone technology.
‘Already we have some of the world leaders in drone tech and we’re investing more in this space than any other government in the country.’
Ms Jones said the government’s Queensland Drones Strategy was an Australian first.
‘We are already leading the way in drone technology across a number of industries, including defence, agriculture, mining and manufacturing,’ she said.
‘Wing has the potential to shift the gear again in the use of drone technology for transportation by increasing access to goods, easing traffic congestion and helping to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.’
The Minister met with Wing to explore Queensland opportunities during a trade mission to the USA in June.
Wing’s Australian Head of Operations Terrance Bouldin-Johnson said the company was excited about its expansion into Queensland.
‘We’re pleased to be expanding our Australian operations and launching the first air delivery service in South East Queensland,’ he said.
‘Queensland has staked out a leadership position in the advancement of drone technology and some of the most significant drone developments in the world are happening here.
‘Wing allows customers to order a range of items such as fresh bread, hot coffee or food items on our mobile app, and have them delivered directly to their homes by drone in minutes.’
Queensland is home to the annual World of Drones Congress, with this year’s gathering to be held in Brisbane in September.
The state also hosts Outback Aerodrone, which showcases western Queensland as an ideal environment for drone testing.
And, in 2017, the Australian Government announced Brisbane as the location for a $50 million drone research centre, the Cooperative Research Centre for Trusted Autonomous Systems.
The aerospace and defence sector is identified as an emerging export priority in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.