Why Are Google and Amazon Not Using Drone Airplanes?
Last week Google pulled back the curtain on its Project Wing, an effort to develop small drones that can deliver packages. The notion of being able to deliver small payloads in this way has been on lots of people’s minds since December of last year when Amazon revealed its own efforts to whisk packages to its customers using small drones, a service-to-be that it calls Prime Air. Even before that, the Silicon Valley startup MatterNet announced its plans to use similar technology to help move materials around places lacking good roads. And one San Francisco company claims it will offer such a service very soon to residents in urgent need of pharmacy supplies in the city's Mission district, despite the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's position that commercial use of even the smallest drones is forbidden.
Could such drone-based delivery services really be practical?