American airspace may soon be abuzz with drones from well-known internet makes.
Today (Nov. 2), Google’s head of Project Wing—the company’s drone shipping and delivery research division—told a crowd from an air traffic control conference outside Washington that the company plans to have drones that can deliver packages in the air over the following few years.
“Our goal is to have commercial business up and running in 2017, ” Vos informed the audience, according to Reuters. Google already incorporates a same-day, ground-based delivery service, called Google Express. Its drones could increase how quickly it delivers those people goods.
Google, now a split of Alphabet, is not alone in its need to deliver packages by drone. Amazon and Walmart have declared plans for drone-delivery services in the usa, with Amazon claiming it may have its drones in the air when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) kinds out its regulations on industrial drones. The FAA recently administered the very first test of a drone shipping and delivery on US soil, but remains proceeding slowly with implementing laws.
Google confirmed to Quartz in which Vos’ comments were the intention with the company, but didn’t respond to some query on whether it was applying for a Section 333 exemption. Even though the FAA has yet to codify it’s regulations about drone use, all companies in the usa that want to use drones for some sort of commercial purpose—whether that’s taking photos for the realtor or testing out a grocery-delivery service—must submit an application for an exemption through the FAA. Presently, Google (or Alphabet) does not have one of those exemptions.
That being said, hopefully by 2017 the FAA may have its rules in place—it was designed to have had them set in September—and Google’s exemption status would have been a moot point. Either way, there may come a point soon when Us residents look toward the sky and can easily pick out the branding on drones since they can airplanes.