Google is reportedly in talks to launch a food delivery service by drones, which is planned to cost $6. The name of this initiative would be The Wing Marketplace, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. Leading the project is Alphabet, Google’s parent company.
The Wing Project is a unit from the moonshot lab deemed as X. In the technology context, a moonshot is a term used to refer to ambitious, exploratory projects that get undertaken with zero expectation of near-term profitability or benefit and also, without a full investigation of the potential risks and benefits it could face.
Among the enterprise’s previous moonshots are Google Glass, Project Loon (a balloon-based Internet service project), the driverless car, augmented reality glasses, a neural network, robots for the manufacturing industry and Project Calico, a life extension project.
X is the name of a semi-secret research-and-development facility founded by Google in January 2010 and has been the nest of all the previously mentioned projects.
Nobody said it was easy
Alphabet has already held talks with food marketing giants such as Whole Foods and Domino’s Pizza. Starbucks opted to decline the proposal, reportedly because of the coffee giants’ worries over X’s control on the user experience.
85 workers have started to work on the drones’ design and functioning. It has not been an easy task. Workers and engineers at X have indicated they have gone through several versions of the drone, and the one they are working on now crashes and loses power constantly.
Project Wings has faced the departure of a relevant number of employees and an unstable budget. Nevertheless, X has declared to be fully devoted to bringing the drone prototype to Wing, despite all the missed tries.
Earlier this year, X CEO Astro Teller held a TED Talk where he said he deemed the moonshots headquarters a messy place, but that they take it as something to get strength from rather than avoiding it did not happen.
Not everything has been a messy affair when it comes to their efforts for transporting food by the airwaves. Three months ago, Chipotle Mexican Grill burritos were delivered using a drone to a group of students at Virginia Tech.
Alphabet eyes a one-to-three-years period for the drone’s food delivery system to be a reality in urban areas. A process that strongly determines the timeframe is the negotiation between the companies involved and the U.S. government regarding federal regulation.
Source: Geek Wire