Google Drones are coming, if the technology leader has anything to say about it, although not in the manner of their usual offerings. According to a report from Bloomberg, Google (in partnership with other major tech leaders) wants license to create and operate an air traffic control solution for commercial drones, something that is currently lacking, and that the government has no intention to provide.
Google, in partnership with at least 14 other tech industry giants including Amazon.com, Verizon Communications Inc., and Harris Corp., has approached the government after a request to the private sector for ideas on how to manage our drone-filled future. Bloomberg spoke to Dave Vos, head of Google’s secretive drone “Project Wing.”
“We think the airspace side of this picture is really not a place where any one entity or any one organization can think of taking charge. The idea being that it’s not ‘Google is going to go out and build a solution and everyone else has to subscribe to it.’ The idea really is anyone should be free to build a solution.”
TechRadar reports that NASA is also on-board to develop a drone flight control system, and will be hosting a conference next week to start hashing out the details, including a “safety system” to automatically keep drones away from restricted airspace, such as the White House. Drones have become ubiquitous in the last few years, being used by everyone from news crews to amateur enthusiasts, but they’ve brought a host of problems with them. Drones have been responsible for getting in the way of commercial flights, interfering with emergency services, and drifting close to restricted airspaces, where they inevitably cause a panic.
In many parts of the world, commercial drones are already in heavy use. As the Inquisitr has previously reported, Uber has taken their usual promotional stunt of delivering ice cream in Singapore every July to the skies; anyone ordering ice cream from the Uber app this year will have it delivered by drone — within a fairly narrow area, due to laws and operating permits. Still, this means that Uber has technically beaten Amazon to the drone-delivery punch. Amazon has been aiming to deliver packages by drone for years. Amazon’s partnership with Google in the U.S. drone air control venture is a big step towards that goal — and may mean that the end of the issues caused by human delivery are in sight for the rest of us.
It hasn’t yet been decided whether the system will be publicly- or privately-run, whether it will be a single system, or many other details, but at stake is a foothold in what is certain to be a multi-billion dollar industry and Google wants to be the first with their foot in the door.
[Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images]