Heads up! DoorDash drones delivering meals in this US city

Today, it's burgers and fries in select locations. Tomorrow, Walmart and Walgreens. If you have a driveway, delivery should work just fine.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
Screenshot by David Grober/ZDNET

The next time you order DoorDash, you might want to keep an eye on the sky for your food. 

The company announced today that it has expanded its partnership with Alphabet's Wing to bring drone-delivered food to the United States for the first time. The program launched in Australia in 2022 and has since expanded to three locations in Queensland with more than 60 restaurants. In the year that it's been available, more than 350,000 drone deliveries have been made.

Also: DJI shows what a $42,000 drone can do

For now, the program is pretty limited in the US. Customers can only order select menu items from a certain Wendy's in Christiansburg, Virginia. For customers near the Wendy's at 2355 N. Franklin Street, here's how it works.

Customers ordering from that location will see drone delivery as an option at checkout. If that option is chosen, the order will be prepped and bagged at Wendy's, but placed in a special container and delivered by drone within 30 minutes. The company notes that its fastest delivery ever took just three minutes. 

The delivery drone will fly approximately 65 mph until it reaches the drop zone and then hover while the package is lowered by a tether until it reaches the ground. 

To receive an order, an address will need an open area of about six feet square that's free of obstacles on the ground and free of coverage from bushes or trees. For most people, a driveway will work just fine.

Is this something customers want? Wing certainly thinks so. In a blog post announcing the DoorDash partnership, it said that 46% of people want a more environmentally friendly option for single-item delivery.

Also: Amazon is finally offering free drone delivery for prescriptions

Wing, owned by Google parent company Alphabet, says it doesn't plan to stop at burgers and fries, as it is also partnering with Walmart and Walgreens. The company calls these partnerships an important step in its vision of becoming "the preferred mode of deliverry for the millions of small packages that are delivered every day around the world." 

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