November 2, 2015 9:16 PM EST Google’s new parent company Alphabet plans to start using drones to deliver packages to customers by 2017, the drone initiative’s top executive said on Monday.
The tech giant is engaged in a dialogue with the Federal Aviation Administration to set up a system that would enable air traffic control of drones flying below 500 feet, David Vos, head of Google’s drone program Project Wing, said at a conference, according to Reuters.
Companies like Amazon and
Walmart have also announced drone-delivery initiatives, but federal approval of the initiatives remains uncertain.
] Reuters The 10 Most Ambitious Google Projects Google Driverless Car
The Google Self-Driving Car has been in the works since 2005 after a team of engineers won a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to design an autonomous car. The project, which aims to reduce traffic accidents, has made headway in recent years as states passed laws permitting self-driving cars. Google plans a commercial release between 2017 and 2020. David Paul Morris—Bloomberg/Getty Images Google has been testing balloons which sail into the stratosphere and beam Internet down to Earth. Jon Shenk—AP Google's smart contact lenses. Google/AP Google Lively
Google Lively was a web-based virtual community space where users could design avatars, chat with one another and personalize their online hangout space. The project was discontinued after a six-month stint in 2008 after limited success. Google/AP Google Earth
Google's virtual map of the Earth allows users to tour the earth with 3-D satellite images. The project, which dates back to 2004, has already found significant applications in disaster relief. Google/AP Project Ara
Google's build-your-own-smartphone project allows users to customize their handsets to their own preferences, with the possibility of eliminating electronic waste by encouraging users to add hardware updates on their own terms. The team is working towards a limited market pilot in 2015. Bryan Bedder—Getty Images for Engadget Expand Disease Detecting Pill
Google unveiled its plans to disease-detecting ingestible pill in October, a project that'll let patients access their real-time health data to encourage preventative care. The pill will contain nanoparticles that can bind to certain cells and chemicals, with the possibility of detecting diseases like cancer in early stages. Getty Images Flying Wind Turbines
The flying windmill is the project of Makani Power, a wind turbine developer acquired by Google in 2013. The tethered airborne turbines will harness wind energy for the goal of producing low-cost, renewable energy Andrea Dunlap—Makani Power/AP Google+
Google's social networking platform launched in 2011, the most successful service after several flops at designing a Facebook competitor, like the now-retired Google Buzz. Today, Google+ boasts over half a billion monthly active users. Stephen Lam—Reuters Google Books
Google Books dates back to 2004, when Google partnered with libraries and universities to plan to digitize millions of volumes over the next several years. The project aims to make searching books as easy as searching the web. Getty Images More Must-Reads From TIME Inside the White House Program to Share America's Secrets Meet the 2024 Women of the Year East Palestine, One Year After Train Derailment The Closers: 18 People Working to End the Racial Wealth Gap Long COVID Doesn’t Always Look Like You Think It Does Column: The New Antisemitism The 13 Best New Books to Read in March Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time