Edited Bt Barsha B. Baruah
Google’s drone project takes off in Australian skies
Google X on Thursday, August 28, 2014 announced that it has begun testing its commercial drones, as it explores the possibility of delivering goods more safely and quickly. Google X is Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) advanced-research arm, dedicated to making major technological advancements. The Search Engine giant has been ‘secretly’ working on this air delivery system called the ‘Project Wing’ for the last couple of years. The project is aimed at using ‘self-operating’ drones to transport goods to the customers. Google X’s Director, Astro Teller said that project’s ultimate goal was to build a delivery system that can dispatch small and medium sized packages within minutes, using self-flying vehicles.
Google has been testing drones in Queensland, Australia, which will be able to fly on their own and deliver everything from candy bars to life-saving medicines. Australia was selected as a test site, considering the country’s ‘progressive’ rules of using drones. Google also mentioned that it would take years before the project takes off to be a full-service system, with multiple vehicles operating to make multiple deliveries day in and day out. It is indeed a reflection Google’s effort to expand beyond Search Engine operations, with ambitious projects such as self-driving cars and solar-powered balloons.
Here’s the video released on YouTube.
“Self-flying vehicles could open up entirely new approaches to moving goods – including options that are cheaper, faster, less wasteful and more environmentally sensitive than what’s possible today,” Google said in a release announcing its drone-delivery initiative. “Throughout history, major shifts in how we move goods from place to place have led to new opportunities for economic growth and generally made consumers’ lives easier. From steam ships to the railroads, from the postal service to delivery services like FedEx and DHL, speed has reshaped society not only with greater convenience but also by making more goods accessible to more people,” it added. In the release, Google also cited examples of places where drones are already being used, including Bhutan and Namibia. In Bhutan, drones are used to deliver medical supplies to remote clinics.
Companies like Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Disney (NYSE: DIS) are already exploring the possibility of using drones to enhance their respective businesses. But in July this year, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) made it clear that the use commercial drones to deliver packages won’t materialize in the near future. So, let’s see how Google navigates itself into the use of commercial drones, to make home deliveries faster and more efficient.