MOSCOW, August 29 (RIA Novosti) - Google announced it is currently developing a system for unmanned air vehicles, or drones, to conveniently deliver goods from altitudes of 130 to 200 feet to a customer’s doorstep, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
Google started working on drones in 2011 and said it expected it would "take years to develop a service with multiple vehicles flying multiple deliveries per day," the newspaper reported.
Google X has already tested one of its drone prototypes from its Project Wing to transport supplies such as first aid kits, candy bars, dog treats and water to two farmers in Queensland, Australia, earlier in August. The prototype is 2.5 feet high and 5 foot wide with a single wing and four propellers. The prototypes can be seen in action, its packages placed in the middle of its wing, in a YouTube video released by Google X titled, “Introducing Project Wing.”
"I don't know that Google is much better positioned than Amazon or anyone else in terms of technology, but the company has a track record of being influential in terms of policy," Ryan Calo, a law professor at the University of Washington who studies robotics and privacy, was cited as saying by The Wall Street Journal.
The commercial use of drones is currently not allowed on a widespread level, but the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) is showing progress, having approved in June the first commercial drone flight over land for energy company BP. Other companies experimenting with drones, such as Amazon and Domino’s Pizza, hope Google will pave the way.
Regulators are wary of drones due to their shaky technology and privacy concerns. Google reported that precise navigation and noise control were part of their plans to minimize privacy and safety risks, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The FAA announced earlier this year it was not considering autonomous drone delivery, but Calo believes influential corporations like Google and Amazon have the power to change their minds.
Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are aircraft either controlled by pilots from the ground or function autonomously following pre-programmed routes.