A food delivery drone operated by Alphabet subsidiary Wing crashed and caught fire in Brisbane, Australia. As a consequence, energy company Energex shut down the network to react to the event, leaving thousands without power.
According to ABC News and The Age, 2,000 people were left without power for around 45 minutes, while 300 customers were without power for three hours.
The drone “landed on top of 11,000 volts and although it didn’t cut out electricity, there was voltage tracking over the drone and the drone caught fire and plummeted to the ground,” according to Energex spokesperson Danny Donald.
According to a spokeswoman for Wing, the drone did a “precautionary controlled landing yesterday… and came to rest on an overhead power wire.” The event was then reported to Energex, according to the business. “There was a power interruption in the region two hours later, during the rescue procedure,” added the spokeswoman. “We apologize for any inconvenience.” We’re presently launching an investigation into yesterday’s incident.”
The drone, however, was flown by Wing, a subsidiary of Google’s parent firm Alphabet. Wing’s drones fly autonomously as both fixed-wing aircraft and hovering copters, delivering food and drinks across small distances of less than 10 minutes. The firm now operates in three countries: the United States, Finland, and Australia, with particular success in the Australian suburbs.
Wing delivered to over 100,000 clients in Brisbane, where the incident occurred, in August of last year, and has made approximately 200,000 deliveries as of March of this year. Wing claims that drone deliveries are best suited to suburban areas since they have a high consumer base, favorable flying conditions, and are not as effectively supplied by delivery businesses as cities.
Although drone deliveries have received a lot of attention over the last decade, they have yet to grow in the manner that corporations like Amazon had hoped. Instead, success has been found in more limited uses, such as Zipline, which distributes tiny but valuable products such as blood and medication in remote regions.