Google is working on a delivery system called Project Wing that will use what it’s calling “self-flying” drones to bring goods to people.
The search giant has been working on the service for two years, and it’s the latest project announced by Google X, the division of the company that works on Google’s most ambitious projects. Other X initiatives include self-driving cars and the connected headset Google Glass.
Google has been testing the vehicles in Queensland, Australia, and has already made deliveries to locals — including shipments of candy bars, dog treats, cattle vaccines, water, and radios. Similar to the company’s self-driving car project, the drones will be able to fly a preprogrammed route at the push of a button. The company said that it will be a few more years before the system is ready for commercial use.
Google isn’t the only tech giant experimenting with drones. Facebook has been working with drones through an effort called Connectivity Lab, announced in March. In December, Amazon announced it is developing a drone system that will bring products to customers. But while Amazon’s efforts seem to be more focused on consumers, Google’s early development of the system has been around disaster relief. For example, one early mission for the project in 2012 was delivering defibrillators to heart attack victims.