Google’s drone executive Dave Vos told a crowd of aviation experts Monday that the tech company’s drone delivery service could deliver a beer right to your hand and that it could begin as early as next year.
“I think it’s possible literally within the next year or two,” Vos, who runs Google Project Wing, told the crowd of drone and aviation officials and lobbyists. “I have to say that the conversations I’ve had with both those entities, those companies, as well as the [Federal Aviation Administration], are going super well, so I think it is in fact doable within the next few single years to get that, including all of the complexities, all of the hard stuff. It’s entirely doable.”
Vos explained the possibilities of the company’s future drone delivery service at a Washington, D.C. speech Monday and included an example where someone could order a beer on their phone and have it delivered right to their hand in three minutes. When asked after the speech about a possible timeline for implementing some of these ideas, he said within a year or two, earlier than many experts expect the technology to be up and running.
Vos shared a compelling vision of instant drone delivery that would appear to work similar to Uber. Get on your phone to order something and have it there within a few minutes.
“We need to be able to find ways to do things where there’s a high density population, where anyone walking along, on the beach, in your backyard, saying ‘Wow, I really feel like…what was the name of that beer?'” Vos said. “‘Google, what was the name of that beer?’ And Google remembers.”
“Google found me, remember, even though I was hiding,” Vos told a chuckling crowd, referring to how Google tracked him down and repeatedly called him to offer him a job. He suggested that the company would have knowledge of your beer preferences. “Google knows more about me than I had ever known before.”
“‘O.K. Google, what was that beer?'” Vos said, continuing the example. “‘Can I have one now? And three minutes from now, please. And, oh by the way I’m going to be going down there so can you drop it there? And when I get there I want to just be walking along and get an update that says ‘your beer is here,”” Vos said.
“That’s what we want to make happen,” Vos told the crowd.
Companies like Amazon and Google want to access the lower airspace, 500 feet and below, to use for drone deliveries of packages. The companies have yet to get federal approval, though, and safety and privacy questions haunt the initiative. Vos addressed concerns that an army of drones delivering packages overhead could be an obnoxious overhead disturbance after the speech Monday.
“There’s enough altitude…and there’s enough space out there today that is completely unoccupied, and we can do it in a way that is quiet enough and unobtrusive enough that it is not going to be impactful and that you won’t really notice and that you can still accomplish a phenomenal amount of activity in that low altitude airspace regime,” Vos told the crowd in response to a question from The Daily Caller News Foundation. “But I think we consciously need to take into account that we don’t want to be a disturbance, we don’t want to be an annoyance, and we need to do it with that level of consideration and collaboration.”
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