Alphabet's Wing drones set to land in Europe

If we can deliver in Finland during the winter, we can deliver anywhere, says Wing.

Marrian Zhou Staff Reporter
Marrian Zhou is a Beijing-born Californian living in New York City. She joined CNET as a staff reporter upon graduation from Columbia Journalism School. When Marrian is not reporting, she is probably binge watching, playing saxophone or eating hot pot.
Marrian Zhou
2 min read

Wing is bringing its drone delivery service to Finland. 


Alphabet is bringing its drone service to Europe.

On Tuesday, Wing, a drone delivery business owned by Google's parent company, said it'll launch in Europe in the spring of 2019, with the introduction of service in the Helsinki area of Finland.

Wing has spent the past 18 months testing drone deliveries in southeastern Australia, according to its website, partnering with local businesses to deliver food, drinks, medicine and household items.

In July, Wing graduated from X, Alphabet's moonshot factory for future-tech projects. It's now an independent company within Alphabet, headed by James Burgess. The startup aims to build a drone delivery system and management platform to improve transportation of goods.

Wing isn't the only company that's developing drone delivery systems. In 2016, Amazon executives said the company's drones could deliver packages within 30 minutes of an order being placed. Amazon started a test program in the UK that same year and completed its first public drone delivery in the US last year. In April, Zipline began testing its second-generation drones. The company's drones are already being used to deliver blood to hospitals in Rwanda. And in August, Uber said it would power Uber Eats with drones.

Wing says its drones run on clean electric power, fly emissions free, and allow small businesses to deliver to a lot of customers in a short time. It also says customers can get their goods delivered faster.

"Finns are internationally renowned for being early-adopters of new technologies, and we're looking forward to working with the community and local businesses," the company said in a statement on its site. "Based on what we know about the winter weather in Finland, we're pretty confident that if our drones can deliver here, they can deliver anywhere."

The company is seeking input on its service from people who live in the Helsinki area.

"We would like to introduce a service in Greater Helsinki this spring based on Finns' preferences," a Wing spokesperson said in an email statement. "We're asking them to tell us what they want us to deliver on a new section of our website, at wing.com/finland." 

Fight the Power: Take a look at who's transforming the way we think about energy. 

Taking It to Extremes: Mix insane situations -- erupting volcanoes, nuclear meltdowns, 30-foot waves -- with everyday tech. Here's what happens.