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Google Joins NASA In Drone Tracking System

July 25, 2015 - Written By Ricardo Trevizo

Google is a company with a lot of known interest for the ever-growing drone market, but not so much for the profitability, as for the enormous area for innovation that it currently has. Today, the internet giant announced its intentions to bring an air traffic control system designed specifically to keep drones in sight and avoid any possible mid-air collisions. Although this unique idea is one of the first of its kind and sounds like something Google might pursue without any doubts, the tech company won’t be working by itself to bring the drone air traffic control system to life. Other major companies such as Amazon, Verizon Communications, and Harris Corp, will be working side by side, so that the upcoming system will be designed and manufactured with ease.

The drone air traffic control initiative comes from the United States government, but more and more major tech companies have joined it since it was proposed a while ago. But even with the government leading the project, there will not be any new entities created with the sole purpose of monitoring the system; in fact, Dave Vos,Head of Google’s secretive Project Wing stated that the upcoming air traffic control system for any kind of commercial unmanned air vehicles hasn’t been acquainted with any entity to take charge of it. Dave Vos also stated that “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”, this means that even if Google is working to create a solution to air control, the company encourages others to also build their own solution to the issue.

Over 14 companies have already joined the government’s efforts to create this new system to keep track of all the airborne drones at any specific time, and signed agreements with NASA, which will be regulating that all the different companies working on the project. The current name of said project is Unmanned Aerial System Traffic Management, and has to be completed before any commercial drones can perform long-distance flights.