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Google’s drone deliveries likely starting in 2017, company says

by Jacob Kleinman | November 2, 2015November 2, 2015 8:00 pm PDT

Amazon unveiled its plan to deliver packages by drone with a new program called Prime Air a little under two years ago. We’re still waiting for the company to make good on that promise, but in the meantime it looks like Google could be closing in on its own rival service.

Speaking at an air traffic control convention on Monday, Google’s David Vos announced plans to kickoff its own drone package deliveries in 2017. Vos leads the company’s Project Wing, an offshoot of Google X focused on challenging Amazon Prime Air.

Google actually showed off its delivery drone back in 2014, revealing an airplane-inspired design that uses a long string to lower packages to the ground. The company’s already moved on to a new model, though it hasn’t been revealed to the public. Google’s also been testing out its drones in the U.S., even if it won’t start making deliveries for over a year.

At this point the biggest issue holding drone deliveries back may be government regulation. Zipping small packages through the sky just a few hundred feet above our heads is a pretty tough sell, and it may be a while before the specific rules can be worked out. 2017 sounds like a long wait, but that may still be a pretty optimistic prediction.

Reuters

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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