- Internet company Alphabet Inc., a new holding company for Google, expects to start delivering packages to consumers via drones in 2017, Reuters reported.
- Google is in talks with the Federal Aviation Administration about establishing 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.
- But before any drone deliveries can launch, the FAA must first publish rules for commercial drone operations, which is expected early next year.
"Our goal is to have commercial business up and running in 2017," David Voss, who heads Alphabet’s project wing, said at an air traffic control convention, according to Reuters.
Following Amazon’s lead, Google is the latest in a lengthening list of companies such as Wal-Mart and Dominoes pizza that are jockeying to test these small, unmanned aircraft systems as a means to speedier package delivery. Indeed, retailers are frantically scrambling to unlock the answer to instant – or near instant — merchandise delivery in the era of digital commerce, and fulfill the growing demand for same-day shipping.
Wal-Mart has tested drones inside its facilities, but is now seeking permission from the FAA to conduct outdoor tests, USA Today reported.
If granted, the nation’s largest retailer will test drones to deliver packages to consumers to their homes and to its parking lots.