Google Plans Drone Delivery by 2017
Amazon made news by being the first to publicly contemplate delivering packages via drone, but based on Monday's announcement by Google, Amazon may not be the first to implement the idea. Google is hoping to be "up and running" with commercial delivery by 2017.
David Vos, the leader for Alphabet's Project Wing, said his company is in talks with the Federal Aviation Administration and other stakeholders about setting up an air traffic control system for drones that would use cellular and Internet technology to coordinate unmanned aerial vehicle flights at altitudes under 500 feet (152 meters).
"Our goal is to have commercial business up and running in 2017," he told an audience at an air traffic control convention near Washington.
Alphabet and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) are among a growing number of companies that intend to make package delivery by drone a reality. But drone deliveries are not expected to take flight until after the FAA publishes final rules for commercial drone operations, which are expected early next year.
Vos, who is co-chair of an FAA task force charged with coming up with a drone registry, said a system for identifying drone operators and keeping UAV away from other aircraft could be set up within 12 months.
"We're pretty much on a campaign here, working with the FAA, working with the small UAV community and the aviation community at large, to move things along," he said.
Vos said a drone registry, which the Obama administration hopes to set in place by Dec. 20, would be a first step toward a system that could use wireless telecommunications and Internet technology including cellphone applications to identify drones and keep UAV clear of other aircraft and controlled airspace.
Project Wing was announced in August, 2014 in Australia, along with this video: