Google X: Project Wing to use drones to make deliveries
Project Wing from Google X laboratories aims at same-day delivery service, trumping Amazon’s drone program. Since verybody is aching for same-day delivery, this field of research has been blooming lately and the apparition of drones is not something entirely unexpected.
Google is a leading tech company so it’s no surprise that it got mixed up in the drone affair. Google’s Project Wing has been in the works for two years now, but it has been kept secret so far. Now, Project Wing has finally surfaced in the wake of Amazon’s drone delivery program.
Project Wing focuses on local product delivery done in the same day the order was placed, employing unmanned drones to make the deliveries within minutes. “During this initial phase of development, Google landed on an unusual design called a tail sitter, a hybrid of a plane and a helicopter that takes off vertically, then rotates to a horizontal position for flying around,” The Atlantic writes. “For delivery, it hovers and winches packages down to the ground. At the end of the tether, there’s a little bundle of electronics they call the ‘egg,’ which detects that the package has hit the ground, detaches from the delivery, and is pulled back up into the body of the vehicle.”
That sounds amazingly high-tech and it would be real fun to see that kind of “creature” hovering over my house in a few months or so, delivering my groceries. Project Wing will be implemented soon, but we don’t know whether it will be available world-wide, or just in certain areas yet. Nonetheless, the adoption of drone technology in delivery systems is a huge step forward and will probably revolutionize the industry. What this will do to courier services is unclear, but we hope that the technology will not be restricted to Google, rather it will be sold as an independent tech unit to companies and persons alike. Even though it’s a long shot to think that Google will publicly market such a device, one can always hope.
Amazon’s Prime Air drones are the only rivals of Project Wing at the moment, and neither of the drone families has been approved by the FAA, so we still have to wait some time before seeing the drones flying around our cities. Even though more than 30 test flights have been conducted by Google X researchers in Australia, the tech is still beta, so to speak and will have to be checked and re-checked to see whether it will be a viable transportation option or just a hassle.