Alphabet subsidiary Wing Aviation will soon drop packages to residents in rural Virginia, thanks to a blessing from the Federal Aviation Administration. Wing is the first drone operator to get the certification, beating out companies such as Amazon that also had championed the promise of drone deliveries. Many other companies are still doing demonstration flights approved by the FAA without making money off the operation.
Drones still have a litany regulatory and technical hurdles to overcome before they are popularized. What will be interesting to watch is how different tech companies try to control the future of goods delivery. While drones might work for more rural areas, self-driving pods or sidewalk robots could work better in cities, if at all. These innovations might not transform urban life overnight, but they are on the roadmaps of many of the most powerful tech companies.