Al­pha­bet tests drones as US con­sid­ers new rules


Al­pha­bet Inc, the par­ent com­pany ofGoogle Inc, is join­ing tests for drone de­liv­er­ies, US of­fi­cials an­nounced on Tues­day, as the White House un­veiled ac­cel­er­ated rule­mak­ing for com­mer­cial un­manned air­craft op­er­a­tions.

The an­nounce­ment at a White­House event said theUS tech gi­ant will par­tic­i­pate in safety re­search through Pro­ject Wing, which is part of the “moon­shot” unit called X cre­ated last year when Google was re­or­ga­nized un­der Al­pha­bet.

Pro­ject Wing will work at one of the six re­search cen­ters set up by the Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion for drone tests and its data “will be shared with gov­ern­ment part­ners to help reg­u­la­tors an­swer crit­i­cal safety and hu­man fac­tor ques­tions for (drone) cargo de­liv­ery op­er­a­tions”, a White­House state­ment said.

At the White House Drone Day event, of­fi­cials an­nounced steps to­ward ex­pand­ing rules for drone op­er­a­tions, in­clud­ing for news­gath­er­ing and com­mer­cial flights over pop­u­lated ar­eas, af­ter a first set of reg­u­la­tions un­veiled in June.

“We hope to pro­pose a rule on un­manned air­craft op­er­a­tions over peo­ple by the end of this year,” FAA ad­min­is­tra­tor MichaelHuerta said.

The White House state­ment said the FAA “is work­ing on the next reg­u­la­tory steps for safely in­te­grat­ing (drones) in the airspace” for “ben­e­fi­cial uses of drones near crowds, such as aerial pho­tog­ra­phy or videog­ra­phy for news­gath­er­ing; for cer­tain types of in­fra­struc­ture in­spec­tion; and other ap­pli­ca­tions”.


A vis­i­tor ex­am­ines a drone on dis­play at an in­dus­try expo in Van­cou­ver, Canada.

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