Food delivery platform DoorDash, in collaboration with Alphabet’s Wing, has initiated a drone delivery pilot programme in the US to deliver for fast-food chain Wendy’s.

The move follows the success of DoorDash and Wing’s joint pilot programme in Australia, which began in November 2022 and has since expanded to three locations and 60 participating merchants.

The US pilot has been launched in Christiansburg, Virginia, where local customers can order from Wendy’s through the DoorDash marketplace for drone delivery.

Eligible customers will notice the drone delivery option on the checkout page of the DoorDash app.

Following the launch in Christiansburg, DoorDash and Wing are considering the expansion of the drone delivery pilot to additional US cities later this year.

DoorDash Labs senior director Harrison Shih said: “We are excited to expand our partnership with Wing in the US to integrate drone delivery into DoorDash’s ecosystem. At DoorDash, we are committed to advancing last-mile logistics by building a multi-modal delivery platform that serves all sides of our marketplace.

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“We’re optimistic about the value drone delivery will bring to our platform as we work to offer more efficient, sustainable and convenient delivery options for consumers.”

Customers in Christiansburg opting for drone delivery can expect their meal to arrive in 30 minutes or under.

Wing states said that its drones will fly at around 65mph (104km/h) before slowing down and hovering to gently lower the order at a customer’s doorstep using a tether.

The new delivery method supplements the existing driver-based service, offering a swift and sustainable alternative for small, short-distance orders.

Wing partnerships head Cosimo Leipold said: “Expanding our partnership with DoorDash and launching in the US is a direct result of the success we’ve seen from our initial collaboration in Australia, where Wing has served tens of thousands of customers via the DoorDash app for over a year now.

“Wing has now made over 350,000 deliveries across three countries and looking ahead we are focused on providing a fast, affordable and safe service to our partners so they can better serve their customers. This moment continues our meaningful expansion of this service in the US and advances our shared goal to better the last-mile delivery ecosystem.”