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One of the more innovative uses for unmanned aerial vehicles involves delivery services.
But that seems like a kind of ridiculous idea, right?
Well, it’s happening, and the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States just gave Google’s drone delivery company an airline license.
NPR reports that Google’s division known as Wing started testing the drones in southwest Virginia.
This certification from the FAA is a huge leap forward for the company.
“Air Carrier Certification means that we can begin a commercial service delivering goods from local businesses to homes in the United States,” Wing said in a post on Medium.
Transportation secretary Elaine Chao said of the license, “This is an important step forward for the safe testing and integration of drones into our economy. Safety continues to be our Number One priority as this technology continues to develop and realize its full potential.”
So how soon can we expect to see the skies filled with delivery drones?
If you’re in the Blacksburg-Christiansburg area later this year and you opt-in, you’re in luck, because the “company says it hopes to expand deliveries in southwest Virginia, recruiting businesses and potential customers in the Blacksburg and Christiansburg areas who want to try out the delivery system.”
There are even plans to begin testing Wing in Europe as well.
Google isn’t the only company developing a drone delivery system.
Traditional parcel delivery companies UPS and DHL are also working on their own delivery UAVs according to NPR.
And, of course, Jeff Bezos over at Amazon has plans for drone delivery as well.
Whether it proves to be a viable option for companies or not is likely a question that only time will be able to answer but it’s crazy to think that this sci-fi future might become a reality.
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