Amazon and Google have been immensely interested in delivery drones for the past couple of years, but it looks like Google will be the first of the two to actually start using them. Both companies have been testing their own drone delivery systems extensively, but starting sometime in 2017, Google intends to have commercial drones actually in the air and delivering packages to customers. It’s already in discussions with the FAA on how to go about doing that.
Internet giant Alphabet Inc, the new holding company for Google, expects to begin delivering packages to consumers via drones sometime in 2017, the executive in charge of its drone effort said on Monday. David Vos, the leader for Alphabet’s Project Wing, said his company is in talks with the Federal Aviation Administration and other stakeholders about setting up an air traffic control system for drones that would use cellular and Internet technology to coordinate unmanned aerial vehicle flights at altitudes under 500 feet (152 meters). “Our goal is to have commercial business up and running in 2017,” he told an audience at an air traffic control convention near Washington. Alphabet and Amazon.com Inc are among a growing number of companies that intend to make package delivery by drone a reality. But drone deliveries are not expected to take flight until after the FAA publishes final rules for commercial drone operations, which are expected early next year. Two years after initial research began, Project Wing was announced in August 2014 with a YouTube video showing a field test of its most viable prototype in Australia.