For some, the name The Miz makes them instantly think of WWE baddie Michael Gregory Mizanin who has been showing off his range of talents as a top contender on the 30th season of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars. However, if you live in northern Texas, the MIZ is quickly becoming known for pushing the boundaries of drone technology. The MIZ (Mobility Innovation Zone) is an integral part of Alliance Texas. Developed and owned by Hillwood of the Perot Group, Alliance is a “27,000-acre master-planned community. It’s a place to grow your business and raise a family. It’s an economic engine powering a region where businesses big and small are embracing innovation.”
The planned community of Alliance has everything a major metropolitan community would need but has been built with innovation at its core. One of the driving forces for innovation today is drone technology, and the MIZ is the perfect testing ground for drone capabilities. A representative from Hillwood said that the MIZ provides interested parties the opportunity to “accelerate the development and commercialization of urban air mobility and UAS technologies and solutions while informing the future regulatory framework in suburban and urban settings.” Earlier this month, Hillwood announced that with the support of the MIZ, Google Wing will begin a first of its kind delivery trial in Alliance Texas.
For almost a decade, people have been waiting for drone delivery options to become a reality. In many neighborhoods, drones are currently making deliveries. These deliveries are of small goods from local shops and restaurants in small communities. In some regions, drones are commuting across hospital campuses to transport medical supplies. Drones are also being used to deliver medical supplies and necessities to remote locations. Delivery drones have had success in these locations because they are not densely populated. One of the biggest concerns with drone deliveries is how they will manage in populous metropolitan environments.
With hundreds of commercial and private businesses, 7 major residential developments, and access to the MIZ, Alliance is an ideal metropolitan drone delivery test site. Wing began test flights at the MIZ in June 2021 and is now ready to branch out. They will be operating out of the 242 acre mixed-use development Frisco Station, adjacent to the corporate headquarters of the Dallas Cowboys. Built in partnership with AT&T, Frisco Station is a fully “smart” development that incorporates 5G technology. Frisco Station will provide Wing with the technological support needed to begin drone deliveries to populous communities.
That doesn’t mean that drones will be zipping around the city right away. As with all new drone programs, slow and steady is the way to go. For any drone program to have lasting stability, it needs to be vetted to the highest degree. The Wing and Frisco Station drone collaboration will begin limited drone deliveries over the last weeks of October 2021. At the same time Wing, Frisco Station, and the MIZ will be considering the many possibilities in which drones could benefit the residents and businesses of Alliance. Part of this will include a large community outreach program to educate and make people excited about drone possibilities. Community demonstrations, school field trips, and facility tours are just one facet of how Alliance plans to integrate drones into the community frameworks.
Wing hopes to expand its drone deliveries to the full scope of Alliance’s residents and businesses soon. “Hillwood’s AllianceTexas Flight Test Center provided a unique opportunity for us to conduct research and development efforts this summer, and now Frisco Station is an excellent spot for one of the first drone delivery facilities in a major U.S. metro,” said Jonathan Bass, head of marketing and communications for Wing. “We look forward to launching the commercial service here in the coming months, and to the continued partnership with Hillwood and Frisco Station.”