Reports have been circulating the web for quite a while now regarding the development of drones by Google Inc. Now, it has been revealed by the company itself that it would conduct tests for its first-ever drones sometime this year. The move has been made possible only recently, when Google Inc. took over Titan Aerospace, a manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles.
The company most known for running the most famous search engine giant on the internet, Google Search Engine, has undertaken many developmental projects in recent years that deal with technology at a much larger scale than the scale of development done by its competitors such as Apple Inc. Google Inc. is currently working on developing technologically advanced systems for generating electricity, agriculture, medical health care, education, and travel, to name a few.
The drone technology, however, seems more in line with technological development for a military cause than a domestic one, an idea that Google Inc., however, abhors. So, what else does Google Inc. expect to gain from the drones at all?
According to the company, the drones have been designed to act as atmospheric satellites, and will be used by the company to spread the internet to those remote areas where it is impractical to establish ground-based network infrastructure. Analyzing the scope of its drone technology, Google estimates the satellites would be able to provide internet access to 4 billion people all over the world who currently remain disconnected from the cyber world due to inaccessibility of the internet.
Google SVP for Products, Sundar Pichai, also called the Titan drones ‘similar’ to the Project Loon the company undertook in 2013. Project Loon incorporated the use of balloons to provide aerial internet access to certain parts of New Zealand where internet access was not available. So far, the project has launched 30 balloons into New Zealand’s airspace, all of which are functional. Pichai hopes that the Titan drones will also be just as successful, considering the fact that the project is transitioning from one stage to the other very similarly to the pattern that was followed by Project Loon.
The drone technology being developed by Google for this purpose is solar-powered, so that it can sustain itself in higher altitudes and hence provide internet access to a wider span of area. The drones are not actually satellites, however, they will be able to ‘beam’ the internet signals onto a large area, allowing receptors to harvest and provide the service to the general public, much like how the Sky provides its satellite TV services.
The best thing about Titan drones, according to Pichai, is their mobility. In times of crisis or political unrest causing disconnection from the internet in a particular area, Titan drones can easily be relocated to provide internet access to such areas.
Ultimately, Pichai explained, Google aims to develop a service system, partnering with local internet service providers, which would allow users to connect to the internet wherever they are without worrying about only connecting to their subscribed internet service, providing for a hassle free internet connectivity system.
The Titan drone technology is expected to be launched by the end of this year, sources claim, although no confirmation has been received from Google in this respect.