Google says the drone industry must keep pushing regulatory limits

July 29, 2015 12:35 PM

(Bloomberg)—The drone industry needs to continue pushing regulatory boundaries, the chief of Google Inc.’s project to develop an unmanned delivery service told a conference in California on Wednesday.

“Let’s push really hard,” Dave Vos, who heads Google’s Project Wing, said at a conference sponsored by NASA at its Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif. “Let’s not put our heads in the sand.”

Google’s Project Wing is competing with Inc.’s Prime Air to develop unmanned craft that can deliver small packages.

A team at NASA’s facility adjacent to Silicon Valley is leading the government’s efforts to create a drone air-traffic system, dubbed Unmanned Aerial System Traffic Management. At least 14 companies, including Google, Amazon, Verizon Communications Inc. and Harris Corp., have signed agreements with NASA to help devise the system.

More than 100 other companies and universities have also expressed interest in the project, which will be needed before commercial drones can fly long distances to deliver goods, inspect power lines and survey crops.

Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, is creating a blueprint for an air-traffic system and the necessary technology is rapidly maturing, said Gur Kimchi, a vice president who heads the company’s drone-delivery division. He is unveiling the company’s view at the same conference.




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