Google announces delivery drone development

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Google posts delivery drone demo on YouTube

Google has posted a video titled 'Introducing Project Wing' on its YouTube channel, which announces its entry into the race to produce effective commercial delivery drones.

An instrumental version of Norman Greenbaum's 'Spirit in the Sky' plays over the two-minute short film, which shows a prototype drone dropping a small package of dog food off at an Australian farm.

According to the company, the delivery depicted in the video is just one of around 30 successful test flights that have thus far been conducted.

The development of Amazon's drone project, Prime Air, was announced in December 2013 when the online retailing giant posted a similar demonstration video on its YouTube channel.

Several years in the making

It has been reported that Google has been working on Project Wing for around two years, and that completion is at least another two years off - as is the rival Prime Air project. Google has said that the drone depicted in the video is one of several potential designs.

Concerns have been voiced over the safety of commercial delivery drones ever since Amazon posted the Prime Air video last December, as it has been argued that rotor blades could potentially cause harm to people and animals.

Earlier this year, Facebook acquired drone-making company Titan Aerospace. Instead of using the drones to deliver goods, the social network plans to use them to provide people in developing countries with internet access.

In the description for the 'Introducing Project Wing' video, Google said: "We're only just beginning to develop the technology to make a safe delivery system possible, but we think that there's tremendous potential to transport goods more quickly, safely and efficiently."

Daniel Nolan, managing director at theEword, said: "It's quite exciting to think that commercial delivery drones may be commonplace by the end of the decade. If it works, it could change the way we buy goods forever - and in the case of emergencies it could prove extremely valuable."