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Alphabet to build quieter delivery drones following widespread noise complaints

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Google’s parent company, Alphabet, are trying to re-engineer their Wing delivery drones following widespread complaints in Australia about the noise they produce.

Noisy drones are a regular topic on WeTalk. A few months back we wrote this story in which residents of a suburb in Canberra complained that the X Wing delivery drones were so noisy, they were making life miserable for some residents.  Some residents who were in the flight path of the Wing UAVs said the noise resembled a “chainsaw gone ballistic” and have said the noise makes it hard for them to relax in their homes and disturbs their pets.

As we’ve often commented, in order for drones to be accepted by the public, particularly in residential zones, UAV designers are going to have to get on top of the noise issue. Alphabet drones have been tested in Australia since 2014 and are capable of flying at speeds of up to 75 mph (120 kph). Until now, they have primarily been used to deliver food items such as burritos (see YouTube clip below).

How do they plan to reduce the noise?

Thus far, the company has reduced the Wing’s flight speed and changed the flight routes so the drones do not pass over the same houses all the time. They plan to do an overhaul of the drone’s design ahead of their rollout in Finland, which is planned for 2019. However, with the current fleet regularly delivering items in Australia’s capital, they are unlikely to immediately scrap the UAVs already in operation.

As we wrote in our previous article on this topic, not everyone is bothered by the sound. Some residents in Canberra have told media that they love the convenience of having items delivered to their house 10-15 minutes after ordering it.

To read other stories on this topic, try:

Reality versus hype for drone deliveries

Uber Eats want national drone delivery service ready by 2021 

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