) secretive research laboratory, Google X has been attempting to
build a fleet of drones that can avoid earthbound traffic to
deliver packages quickly as part of its "Project Wing."
Google started working on drones in 2011 and admits that it
would take much longer to develop a fleet capable of flying
multiple deliveries per day.
The recent development pits Google against Amazon Inc. (
) that announced its plans to use aerial delivery drones last year
as part of the Prime Air service. Both the companies are
consistently competing with each other for acquiring significant
market share. Domino's Pizza Inc. (
) also tested drones in 2013 for delivering pies.
Self-flying vehicles can open up completely new ways to move
goods -- including alternatives that are economical, quicker, less
wasteful and more finely tuned with the environment. Google also
sees the technology as a way to deliver much required medicines and
supplies in emergencies like natural disasters.
Commercial delivery drone use is, however, not permitted in the
U.S. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is looking to change
that and in June allowed the first commercial drone flight over
land-for energy giant BP PLC (
) in Alaska. But the FAA is taking a cautious approach because the
technology can be dangerous and raises privacy concerns.
The FAA said it is not considering autonomous drone delivery as
of now, thereby putting brakes on Google's and Amazon's plans.
Commercial drone use by these companies face legal and pragmatic
problems. The legality of operating drones within homeowners'
airspace and issues relating to insurance have been raised.
Earlier this year, Google's researchers tested Project Wing
iQueensland, Australia. The company tested drones with two
farmers, who were delivered items including radios, dog treats and
In the coming year, Google will concentrate on the safety system
of the drones, their navigation and issues related to mechanical
trouble. Besides zeroing in on the exact delivery place, the drones
will also be programmed to fly well-structured delivery paths.
Issues related to noise, privacy and well-being of people will also
be taken into account.
Google currently carries Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research?
Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days.
Click to get this free report
GOOGLE INC-CL A (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis
BP PLC (BP): Free Stock Analysis Report
DOMINOS PIZZA (DPZ): Free Stock Analysis Report
AMAZON.COM INC (AMZN): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.