The company formally known as Google (Alphabet) hopes to have drones delivering you baby wipes and other small items by 2017, according to one of the company's engineers. The announcement was made yesterday at a Maryland conference for air traffic controllers, and was in response to a question from a member of the audience.
In a keynote speech, Dave Vos, an engineer with Alphabet's Project Wing drone program, put a timeline on the company's ambitious plan.
"Our goal is to have commercial business up and running in 2017," Reuters reports him as telling those in attendance.
In 2014, Google released a video of a Project Wing drone in action. According to the video's description, they used the groundbreaking technology in much the same way you or I would (minus the Australian farmer part, I guess) — they delivered candy and dog food.
"As part of our research, we built a vehicle and traveled to Queensland, Australia for some test flights," the description reads. "There, we successfully delivered a first aid kit, candy bars, dog treats, and water to a couple of Australian farmers."
(The video is set to the oh-so-catchy song Spirit In The Sky, perhaps attempting to establish some loose connection between Google and salvation?)
In the video from last year Astro Teller, "Captain of Moonshots" at Google [X], predicts (with a smirk) the sooner-than-we-all-expect reality of drone delivery.
"Working together we can get to this future I think surprisingly quickly," he tells the camera.
It should be noted, this is not the first time we've heard some seemingly crazy prediction about drone delivery being just a few years away (*cough* Amazon Prime Air *cough*), and as such we should remember to take this latest assertion with a grain of salt. At the very least, keep in mind that any outcome depends on decisions as-of-yet unmade by the FAA in regard to regulating drones' use of airspace.