Drone's Google Future
According to Google’s Dave Vos, who heads Google X’s Project Wing experimental delivery drone program, as early as 2017, drones will be making deliveries to consumers—that is, if the government and private sector work hand in hand.
More than that, he also stated that drones will ultimately be safer than general aviation, operating so quietly that the drone deliverymen will hardly disturb anyone.
And ultimately, this is Vos end goal: “Moving people and stuff around the planet in an efficient way is where I want to get,” she asserts.
Google’s announcement comes as a host of other organizations, such as Amazon and Wal-Mart, announce plans to explore the development of their own drone fleet.
However, we may have to iron out a few kinks before Vos' vision of the future is fully realized.
Regulatory issues surrounding the operations of drones are still being ironed out, and any business that seeks to use flying drones for commercial purposes will be required to seek Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval on a case-by-case basis.
Still, Vos asserts that, as previously mentioned, with the government and private sector working together, the industry is set to advance into this era.
That said, current drone rules stipulate that companies will not be allowed to fly their technology at night, and operators will not be allowed to fly or operate more than one drone at a time. These limitations on the technology limit the rising US drone industry.
Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Michael Huerta said that the government will finally try to finalize all of the offical drone rules and regulations for commercial operation by the second quarter of the year.
A Bright Future?
Vos continues to assert that drones will not merely be delegated to delivering household items. Rather, he states that, as technology continues to advance, we will soon get to a point where larger drones will be able to transport people and shuttle them like airborne taxis.
Indeed, we have already made our first steps towards this.
Ehang has announced the first autonomous aerial vehicle, the “184” Personal Flying Vehicle (PFV). It is a quadcopter the size of a smart car. The 184 can deliver one human (up to 260 pounds) anywhere…provided it is within a 23 minute flight. Still, it is a notable first step.