By Mina Abgoon. CREATED Aug 30, 2014
In an effort called Project Wing, Google is in the midst of developing airborne drones capable of flying on their own and making deliveries, the company said on Thursday.
The effort has apparently been in the works for two years, but was kept a secret until the recent announcement.
CNBC said the development of these drones “could help Google break into lucrative markets such as commerce and package delivery, ratcheting up the competition with Amazon.com.”
The news comes about a year after Amazon’s announcement of its plan to use aerial delivery for a service called “Prime Air.”
The company’s current focus, according to CNBC, is teaching the drones how to navigate around one another and “reduce the noise of the vehicles and to refine the delivery capability such that a package can be delivered to a spot the size of a doorstep.”
A recent delivery test flight to Queensland, Australia, as seen in the video above, proved to be a success. The project, which is being developed by the company's clandestine tech research arm Google X, is epected to make drones capable of delivering anything from candy to medicine, according to CNBC.
The long-term goal is to develop drones that can even be used for disaster relief. But it will take years of development to create a service sophisticated enough to have multiple vehicles flying multiple deliveries per day, the company said.
According to CNBC, “Google spokesman Ray Gobberg said it was too soon to discuss specific business plans for the delivery drones, but the company said on its website that self-flying vehicles could offer a cheaper, faster and less wasteful way to move goods.”