Internet giant Alphabet Inc, the new holding company for Google, expects to begin delivering packages to consumers through drones by 2017
. Called Project Wing, the initiative aims to be delivering goods to consumers using the robot aircraft sometime in 2017. The announcement came from David Vos, the project leader for the delivery service. Vos said the 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 service and the internet to coordinate unmanned aerial vehicle flights at attitudes under 500 feet.
“Our goal is to have commercial business up and running in 2017.”
However, the company has not given any details about what type of drones Google might use for the service nor what type of packages they will be delivering. Details about Project Wing emerged in 2014. Initially, it was run inside Google X – the firm’s secretive research lab. It is now believed to be under the control of Alphabet – the parent company that the former divisions of Google now operate under. Alphabet and Amazon.com Inc are among a growing number of companies that intend to make package delivery by drone a reality.
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.
Two years after initial research began, Project Wing was announced in August 2014 with a YouTube video showing a field test of its most viable prototype in Australia. 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.