This morning Google announced it’s latest ambitious enterprise, Project Wing, which wants to change what transportation and delivery as we know it.
Under the control of Google X, Project Wing is in the earliest stages of prototype testing that Google is willing to let us look at. Much like Amazon’s plans to implement drone delivery, Google thinks drones have tremendous potential in the delivery sector, though their goals go far beyond home delivery of consumer goods. Google engineers imagine their drones could literally save lives in areas where natural disasters strike, making it difficult to reach survivors in need of food or aid.
The initial Project Wing Idea came about as a means to deliver defibrillators to people suffering from heart attacks, with the notion that drones could deliver them faster than an ambulance. Using a lightweight drone weighing less than 19 pounds, Project Wing can so far deliver packages weighing just about 3 pounds; not much in the way of emergency aid. However, multiply the delivery rate by dozens of drones dropping off aid exactly where it’s needed (and not just the airport) and this concept makes a lot more sense.
Furthermore, the Project Wing “tail sitters” can take off or land vertically, but fly horizontally, and rather than rely on a pilot sitting in a control station, it is programmed with a destination and then flies itself there. It’s an autonomous drone, and while it may have initially been developed to deliver emergency aid, the obvious implications for consumer delivery can’t be overlooked. Project Wing is still years away from being a market viable product, but like the Google Car, it shows the search engine giant is very interested in expanding it’s reach beyond the Internet.
Now we just have to get the FAA on board with drone deliveries, and the future could soon be landing in your backyard with your latest purchase.