[Google Wings is piloting its delivery drones (in both senses of the word) at a 
small new residential area called Googong, outside Queanbeyan NSW:
<http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/google-sister-company-project-wing-chooses-googong-as-autonomous-drone-delivery-test-site-20170715-gxbu0o.html>http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/google-sister-company-project-wing-chooses-googong-as-autonomous-drone-delivery-test-site-20170715-gxbu0o.html
http://www.smh.com.au/act-news/canberra-airport-not-told-about-project-wing-drone-delivery-testing-nearby-at-googong-20170722-gxgnl5

A new article has been published, copy below.

[Here's my alternative report based on the evidence so far:

Official confirmation was provided today that the Google experiments with 
drones as urban delivery vehicles has been going pretty badly.

Google company Project Wing said that the most advanced testing with 
participants to date occurred in a low-density greenfields site 10km from the 
nearest town, the flight-path used was only 1km and affected only six 
households, and the reception by participants was at best lukewarm.

The usual safety-margins were reduced, but the drones were not permitted to fly 
within 15 metres of people or property.  This of course limits the scope for 
services to areas with no higher densities than 5-acre properties.

The company hopes to get approval to move beyond visual line of sight 
operation, which will reduce the number of warehouses needed in order to cover 
medium-density eastern Australia below the currently-estimated 200,000.

[Read on, and tell me whether you think I'm misinterpreting the data ...]


Google company Project Wing looking to expand testing in Canberra region
Elliot Williams
The Canberra Times
August 6 2017
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/google-company-project-wing-looking-to-expand-testing-in-canberra-region-20170805-gxq3fj.html

Google sister company Project Wing is seeking approval from the Civil Aviation 
Safety Authority (CASA) to extend their approved testing distance within 
Australia.

The US company hope CASA will grant approval to fly beyond one kilometre and 
staff will search the region for a suitable new test site.

Project Wing just completed a two week test of their autonomous drone delivery 
system with the help of residents in Googong.

During the two week period the drones flew within one kilometre while always in 
a pilot's line of sight in case of emergency.

CASA's Peter Gibson said the main issue with granting further approval was the 
line of sight requirement. Basic drone regulations in Australia enforce a line 
of sight rule for all drone operators.

Commercial operators are able to seek approval to operate drones not in visual 
line of sight and CASA grants these on a case by case basis once risks are 
identified and mitigation strategies are in place.

Project Wing use the operator licence of Brisbane-based Unmanned Systems 
Australia and Mr Gibson said that CASA "look forward to assessing their 
application."

A spokeswoman for Project Wing said there would be no changes sought to the 
restrictions that their drones may not fly within 15 metres of people or 
property who provided consent.

James Ryan Burgess, Co-Lead of Project Wing, said before testing began that the 
company "want to give all our devotion and attention to this area".

He also signalled an intention to eventually test in Canberra but there has 
been no updates on a timeline for that.

Despite early concerns from some residents and Canberra Airport, the company 
are pleased with the outcome of the testing.

The spokeswoman said the residents involved in the test, which involved six 
households, provided valuable feedback that will shape the project moving 
forward.

"We're really grateful to the Fernleigh Park community for being so hospitable 
and giving their feedback," she said.

The most common feedback returned was that residents would find receiving meals 
and medicine via drones most useful.

There were also criticisms that the specially-designed packaging was too 
difficult to open and the smartphone app needed improvement.

This feedback has been delivered to engineers in California to be implemented 
in future tests. The company tests the technology daily at its facility in 
California's Central Valley, however the most advanced testing with 
participants occurred in Googong.


-- 
Roger Clarke                                 http://www.rogerclarke.com/
                                    
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
Tel: +61 2 6288 6916                        http://about.me/roger.clarke
mailto:roger.cla...@xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Law            University of N.S.W.
Visiting Professor in Computer Science    Australian National University
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