Quantcast
Connect with us

‘The next battlefront’: Google unveils airborne delivery drone prototypes

Published

on

By Alexei Oreskovic

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Google Inc is developing airborne drones capable of flying on their own and delivering anything from candy to medicine, the Internet company said on Thursday.

The effort, which Google calls Project Wing, marks the company’s latest expansion beyond its Web-based origins and could help Google break into lucrative markets such as commerce and package delivery, ratcheting up the competition with Amazon.com Inc.

Google, the world’s largest Internet search engine, said it will take years of development to create a service with multiple vehicles flying multiple deliveries per day.

An early version of the drone, which Google showcased in a video on its website, has a 1.5 meter-(yard-)wide wingspan and is capable of flying pre-programmed routes.

ADVERTISEMENT

“These planes have much more in common with the Google self-driving car than the remote-controlled airplanes people
fly in parks on weekends,” Google said on its website, referring to the company’s test fleet of automobiles that use sensors and radars to navigate city streets and freeways on their own.

The drone Google showed in the video Thursday was equipped with rotors to allow for vertical takeoff and landing, as well as a fixed wing for plane-like flying. The drone flew about 40 meters above the treeline, Google said, and dropped a package of chocolate bars to a farmer in Queensland, Australia.

Google spokesman Ray Gobberg said it was too soon to discuss specific business plans for the delivery drones, but the company said on its website that self-flying vehicles could offer a cheaper, faster and less wasteful way to move goods.

ADVERTISEMENT

Google rival Amazon.com Inc announced plans last year to use aerial delivery drones for a service called “Prime Air.”

“Local delivery of products is the next battlefront,” said Sameet Sinha, an analyst with B. Riley & Co. “Google has had its eyes on e-commerce, basically trying to get around Amazon.”

Google has partnered with local retailers in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York for its Shopping Express service, which allows consumers to order goods online and have them delivered to their doorstep on the same day.

ADVERTISEMENT

While Google has been quietly developing its aerial drone project since late 2011, the company will now focus on teaching the vehicles to safely navigate around each other, to reduce the noise of the vehicles and to refine the delivery capability such that a package can be delivered to a spot the size of a doorstep.

Google’s Gobberg said the company has briefed the Federal Aviation Administration on the project and has been updating the agency. Gobberg said Google has done some “small scale research flights” in the United States but hoped to talk more with the agency to determine specific locations for testing.

In 2012, Congress required the FAA to establish a road map for the broader use of drones. The FAA has allowed limited use of drones in the United States for surveillance, law enforcement, atmospheric research and other applications.

ADVERTISEMENT

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Grant McCool and Ken Wills)

Watch Google’s demonstration of “Project Wing,” as posted online on Thursday, below.


Report typos and corrections to [email protected].

Send confidential news tips to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

WATCH: Employee at Tim Hortons slurs Muslim couple and tells them ‘go back to your own country’

Published

on

According to a report from Deadline Detroit, a Muslim advocacy group has filed a complaint against a local Tim Horton's location after an employee insulted a Muslim couple and told them to "go back to their own country," followed by a sexist slur.

The report states Alaa Kouider and her husband, Ameur Dhaimini, were purchasing coffee at the local fast food location when they got into an argument with the cashier.

Continue Reading

Facebook

Store manager ruins special moment by accusing black dad of stealing basketball he bought for baby son

Published

on

A memorable moment in a black California family's life was spoiled when a store manager accused them of stealing a basketball they'd already purchased for their baby son.

Joel Stallworth and TaMiya Dickerson took their 18-month-old son Sammy to buy his first basketball July 5 at the Nike store at Santa Monica Place, and they left after waving goodbye to employees, reported the Santa Monica Daily Press.

A white store manager followed them outside and told Stallworth, who was on the basketball and track teams at California State University, Stanislaus, to hand over the ball.

Continue Reading
 

Featured Video

Trump defends fans who chanted ‘send her back’ and tells Ilhan Omar she’s ‘lucky to be where she is’

Published

on

President Donald Trump on Friday defended supporters who chanted "send her back" at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and then went on to personally attack Omar as a "disgrace."

Even though Trump dishonestly tried to distance himself from the racist "send her back" chant on Thursday, he delivered a full-throated defense of the people who participated in it while talking with reporters in the Oval Office just one day later.

"Those people in North Carolina, that stadium was packed, it was a record crowd," Trump said. "Those are incredible people, those are incredible patriots."

He then pivoted toward attacking Omar again.

Continue Reading
 
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

Join Me. Try Raw Story Investigates for $1. Invest in Journalism. Escape Ads.
close-image