Google Reveals Project Wing Drone Testing in Australia
Why test in Australia? Ostensibly, there's plenty of open land and airspace—and less regulation—to test these automated aircraft.Well, this is one way to give delivery vehicles a break on the roadways: Google has gone Down Under to develop and test drone aircraft that deliver packaged goods to buyers via the open airways. The Mountain View, Calif.-based IT services giant revealed Aug. 29 that it has had a team in Australia for more than two years designing, building and testing customized drones that can drop consumer goods safely within a target area and do it in a timely manner. Why test in Australia? Ostensibly, there's plenty of open land and airspace to test these automated aircraft. There is also less regulation with which to contend from agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States. The FAA has been working on development of rules and regulations for drone aircraft, but nothing is near being official as yet. In the meantime, the FAA has restricted commercial drone testing to limited geographical areas and reported to Congress that it will miss its 2015 deadline for drafting rules to allow the devices to fly while protecting privacy and security.
"We're in Australia. The goal of being here is to show that the hard work over the last two years has resulted in a reliable system that can do autonomous delivery," Nicholas Roy, founder of Google's Project Wing, said in a YouTube video report. "We also really want to get out and learn what it's like to actually deliver to the [customer], and see what it's like from their perspective.