Back to all posts

June 8, 2023

A Wing delivery drone could do your curbside pickup. Here’s how.

  • , Announcement
  • , Drone delivery
  • , Tech


If you’ve been shopping at a big box store, local shop, or grocery store in the last few years, you’ve likely noticed something different when you pull into the parking lot: parking spaces reserved for curbside pickup. The popularity of curbside pickup exploded during the pandemic, growing by 200 percent overall, and up to 700 percent for some retailers. And this growth is here to stay: 33 percent of adults who started using curbside pickup during the pandemic say they expect to continue using it.

The convenience of curbside pickup is clear, and led us to ask ourselves: what if you could take advantage of curbside pickup without needing to get yourself to the curb? This was the inspiration for Wing’s AutoLoader. AutoLoaders can sit next to a standard curbside pickup spot, and allow our delivery drones to make the pickup for you, bringing your order to your door without you having to leave the house. For retailers, the Autoloader actually makes the curbside pickup process easier. Rather than needing to wait for a vehicle to arrive before bringing a package outside, a retail worker can load the package onto the AutoLoader whenever it is ready and walk away. The delivery drone will arrive shortly thereafter to autonomously collect the order.

By designing a simple system that fits into existing workflows and unlinks the handoff of a package from the arrival of the vehicle meant to pick it up, we’re not only optimizing the experience for consumers and retailers, we’re opening up an exciting path to scale for drone delivery. The AutoLoader is a key component of the Wing Delivery Network – our rideshare-like system that will allow drones to move around cities in a distributed, flexible manner, picking up and dropping off packages at multiple locations without needing to return to a centralized hub. By making it easy to add AutoLoaders to existing retail locations, we believe we’ll be able to vastly expand the number of goods that can be delivered by drone, which will increase convenience for consumers and retailers, and further propel the growth of drone delivery across suburban and rural areas. We expect to deploy the first AutoLoaders for partners later this year. 

Check out Wing’s AutoLoader, and learn how this decidedly simple innovation can change the way we move small goods around communities.