Alphabet Inc is ready to take drone delivery seriously in sharp contrast to the publicity stunt that Amazon Inc pulled with drones about two years ago. Engadget reports that Alphabet’s Google X has registered two delivery drones with the FAA for tests in U.S. airspace as part of efforts to take its “Project Wing” from its Google X moonshot factory to the next level. Alphabet’s move to register its drones with the FAA confirms the story that the Guardian broke is August that Alphabet is already testing its drones.
Engadget reports that FAA documents reveal that the firm has two UAVs with codenames M2 and B3. M2 entered the FAA books on Oct.2 and B3 entered the books on Oct. 7. The fact that the firm has two different names for its drones suggests that it has two different drone designs. Details about the drones are still sketchy but it appears that the drones are “are fixed-wing aircraft with two electric motors, and both weigh less than 55 pounds.”
Drones are the next frontier for tech
Drone is the next frontier in tech as it holds the power to disrupt many markets and industries. Back in August, the Guardian reported that Alphabet has started testing drones — by skirting FAA rules because of a deal it has with NASA. The firm apparently stretched the meaning of the part of the agreement with NASA that says, “NASA and Google will conduct joint field tests of UASs … where NASA may issue certificates of approvals to operate.”
Alphabet’s Google X unveiled its drones plan as Project Wing in 2013 in a video in which it delivered a first aid kit, candy, water, and dog treats to farmers in Australia. Other tech firms are also showing interest in drones. In December 2013, Amazon through its CEO Jeff Bezos made a bold statement about plans to begin 30 minutes drone delivery service in its Amazon Prime. Bezos showed a Prime Air demo video in which “octocopters” picked up packages for delivery at the doorstep of buyers.
GoPro Inc, maker of action cameras has also been linked with drones. In June, Citi analysts opined that GoPro should enter the drones market before buyers lose interest in its cameras. The analysts noted that “the faster the growth of the drone category, the higher the risk of a slowdown in the action camera category”. Jim Cramer of CNBC has also noted that the market is now paying more attention to drones than to GoPro’s cameras.
Alphabet Inc beats Amazon in the drones’ flight
It is clear that Alphabet Inc and Amazon are the major players in the drones market; even then, Alphabet is flying at a different level from Amazon. To start with, Google has actual drones; in contrast, all that Amazon has shown the market is a demo of what its drones can do. Secondly, Alphabet has begun testing its drones but Amazon is still stuck with “needless” debates for Drone zones for the Class G airspace.