Google X Project Wing 1

Google Could Launch Drone Delivery Program By 2017

November 2, 2015 - Written By Diego Macias

Drones are becoming increasingly interesting devices, while the first commercial approach of these ‘vehicles’ seemed to be targeted towards a younger audience, as they look like expensive toys, a number of other uses are becoming increasingly popular. For instance, they can be used for casual photography, with some of the pictures and videos captured by them being used to monitor traffic incidents. Their compact size can make them reach smaller places and some companies are even using them to deliver products to new places, as it is somewhat safer to send these machines than sending humans. Speaking of delivery, Google has showed interest in making deliveries with drones and now it seems that this could happen as soon as 2017.

Google is delivering select products from several local stores with their service called Google Express, so perhaps they could use drones with some of these deliveries. They are also considering delivering fresh food, but the drones would need more components to make use of this type of delivery, as this type of food requires refrigeration and a more complex organization for delivery. Recently, they registered two new models that were going to be tested in Colorado, but apparently, these are hard to control. David Vos, leader of the project that involves drones known as ‘Project Wing’ told Reuters “Our goal is to have commercial business up and running in 2017,” so they have a little more than a year to make the necessary tests and figure out how the drone system will work.

The obvious benefits of using drones is that they can offer significantly faster deliveries and the whole system would be less polluting. The necessary FAA regulations are not available as yet, but they could be expected by the middle of next year. Walmart and Amazon are also studying how to make such a system work, while the latter company has stated that they would have theirs available by the time the regulations were ready. So it makes sense that Google would want to speed things up. There is still a number of additional details that would be needed to be worked out, like for instance, whether customers would be able to pick up their packages at their front door or if drones would deliver to their windows (more specifically for those living in an apartment building).