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Two delivery drones built by Google will soon be tested in the US

By dkpope
Oct 13, 2015
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  1. Prepare yourself for bad puns because Google X’s drone project is taking off.

    Engadget reports that two UAVs built by Google, code named the M2 and the B3, were registered with the FAA this month in the U.S. The M2 was listed on October 2nd, and the B3 was listed on October 7th.

    This is after Google X’s Project Wing didn’t work out well, even after much testing in Australia. In March, it was announced that the organization was working on a new design, presumably the two drones registered this month. Maybe these are the drones Google X has been looking for.

    In August, the Guardian wrote that Google X’s dealings were less than upstanding and said that the company was avoiding some FAA rules as well as using their connections with NASA to test drones in California. Now, based on the fact that two Google drones appear in the FAA registry, it appears that Google is working within regulations.

    The two drones were registered by Google’s Boulder, CO, office and both are fixed-wing aircraft with two electric motors, and weigh less than 55 pounds. Since each drone has a distinct model number, it’s possible that there are two different designs.

    Google X has indicated plans to update the drone project this year, and I hope to hear some information out of Google soon. That way I can stop droning on and on about possibilities, and report more details.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,676   +780

    If I understand correctly, the FAA has stated that the first 400 feet above the homeowners property are property of the homeowner. The next 100 feet seems to be "in debate" and everything above 500 feet is under the control of the FAA. Since Tennessee is a "stand your ground" state, if I perceive a threat from said drone, flying under the 400 foot limit to land at my neighbors house, do I have a right to down said drone with my 12 ga.?

    Now, this may all seem silly, but the intrusion on a persons property can be a serious matter, particularly since it could invite others to spy on the individual; only one step away from other prying eyes doing the same. Has Google been granted some special license to violate this law. What will they do around power lines, cable lines, and other services that could be damaged or cut by an errand drone?

    Seems there is still much to do and I don't recall seeing a public comment period by FAA as of yet. No doubt, more to come!
     
  3. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 494   +126

    It would be harder for the shooter to prove the altitude of the drone then google who would have the drones exact position back on the server or on the drones memory (if not destroyed by pellets). I haven't seen many power lines that are over 200ft tall let alone 500ft so if the drones fly in low FAA controlled airspace (which is amazons plan) they would be out of the way of those obstacles, while also being hard to hit with a shot gun (haven't ever managed/seen a bird hit cleanly over 75 yards away don't see how 120 yards is very doable against a 60mph target). The privacy issues are a mixed bag what can the drones see that someone driving by the house with binocs can't? They aren't going to have anything to really dig deeper then the average person would who isn't in the air.

    Personally I don't get the craze over the drone deliveries, Amazon could maybe get the ok to operate 20-30 in a place like LA. That's 30 drones taking one package at a time taking anywhere from 20-40 min to deliver said package meaning your realistically going to serve around 100-200 people a day. Maybe in the future they can do better and more I just don't see them being ever able to logistically beat out a delivery company, or amazon just paying for a van fleet to drive the city doing the same thing.
     
  4. Hexic

    Hexic TS Addict Posts: 283   +132

    If you are strictly talking logistics, I wouldn't doubt for a second that future innovations (currently unforseen) couldn't beat modern standard delivery. 10 years ago, no one could fathom fresh grocery delivery via the Internet.. yet it's possible in CA as we speak.

    Google, Amazon, and others will innovate and change the status quo. How exactly they do this is up to speculation... one can't simply discount the way we do it now as the ultimate version of effeciency. They'll find a way. We just haven't been exposed to it yet.
     
  5. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 913   +388

    Tin foil hat time. Anyone doing this, will probably have not only GPS, but a camera showing the object landing/falling/parachuting down to the address. And, since there is a camera/gps and you know good and well that data will be stored, you know good and well one of the alphabet spy places in the USA, Russia, China etc will have that data also. Not sure what good it will do, but as far as privacy, we willingly gave that up with the explosion of cell phones.
     

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