Google has just made another significant step towards providing internet connectivity to the masses. While Google certainly showed promise in this area with its Project Loon, it seems the company is interested in more than just weather balloons. Google has just bought Titan Aerospace, an established drone company, for an undisclosed price.
Titan Aerospace was previously being looked at by Facebook for purchase. However, the company reportedly decided to purchase an alternative drone company, Ascenta. The decision reportedly came after Google approached Titan and offered to beat any price Facebook was offering.
The company’s drones are incredibly impressive. Fueled by solar power, these drones are supposedly capable of flying non-stop for up to 5 years. During that time they will be providing internet speeds of up to 1 gigabyte per second. The extraordinary life span of these drones mean they will be able to cover thousands and thousands of miles, bringing internet connectivity to remote areas of the world.
Beyond simply broadcasting an internet signal, Titan Aerospace’s drones could also be capable of capturing high resolution images of the earth, which would undoubtedly be used in Google’s Earth and Maps applications. Additionally, the drones could also broadcast voice and data signals, making it possible for Google to provide smartphone services.
The team is expected to work directly with the Project Loon team and Makani Power, a wind turbine company Google purchased last year. While they will be working with existing Google teams, the company will remain in New Mexico and under the leadership of its current Chief Executive Vern Rabern
As of right now, it is currently illegal to use a drone for commercial purposes in the United States. However, by 2015, the FAA is reportedly set to introduce regulations that will allow companies such as Google and Facebook to dive deeper into their acquisitions.
source: The Wall Street Journal