Google parent Alphabet plans drone delivery by 2017

3 Nov 2015

Google’s parent company Alphabet has made plans to instigate its own drone delivery service by 2017, which will whizz around 500 feet above US heads.

The company has already met with the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) in the US to seek clearance to fly the drones as package delivery devices.

David Vos, leader of Alphabet’s project wing, said the company’s goal is to “have commercial business up and running” by 2017, joining the likes of Amazon and Walmart in the drive for drone delivery devices.

Vos, co-chair of an FAA task force coming up with a drone registry, said a system could be set up within 12 months.

He said his company would like to see low-altitude airspace carved out for drones, keeping them out of the way of other aircraft.

This is something similar to Amazon’s proposals earlier this year. In two separate papers, Amazon suggested that, in America, the air between 200ft and 400ft above people’s heads should become a delivery route, with the 100ft above that clear of any drones, leaving the skies free for use by airplanes, helicopters and other conventional means of air travel.

Last week, Walmart revealed plans of its own for a similar project.

“Drones have a lot of potential to further connect our vast network of stores, distribution centres, fulfilment centres and transportation fleet,” said Dan Toporek, a spokesman for the company.

“There is a Walmart within five miles of 70pc of the US population, which creates some unique and interesting possibilities for serving customers with drones.”

Google image, via Lightpoet / Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic