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Drone-assisted food deliveries to begin in Helsinki

A grocery chain will begin test flights of drones delivering lunch on 1 June, in Vuosaari, eastern Helsinki.

oranssi drone taivaalla
Interest in drones is spreading in Finland. This photo is not related to the story. Image: AOP

Finland will see soon the country's first drone-delivered lunches to homes and offices. HOK-Elanto, the largest regional co-operative of one of the country’s duopoly grocery retailers, S Group, has entered into an agreement with the drone delivery firm Wing to start a six-month pilot.

Wing is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc, the parent company of Google.

S Group’s premier grocery store chain, Food Market Herkku, will test Wing delivery of its lunchtime products with the unmanned vehicles starting in early June.

The test area will be limited to Vuosaari in eastern Helsinki. Customers will be able to order lunchtime products from the Herkku store located in the Itis shopping centre, and have it delivered to them by a drone. HOK-Elanto said in a press release that the products will be dispatched to customers in just a few minutes.

Flying into the market

Late last year the drone delivery company revealed plans to enter the Finnish market when Wing CEO James Burgess made the announcement at Slush, Helsinki's startup and investor conference.

In 2015, Finland's postal service Posti trialed deliveries of packages using the autonomous flying devices.

After launching operations in Australia, Wing's CEO said the company chose Finland as its entry point into the European market in part because of existing interest in drones.

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