Google’s sister company – Project Wing is doing interesting things with drones that we should pay attention to. The company is experimenting with drone delivery – nothing new there – but has decided to build an entire ecosystem of intelligent drones that work collaboratively to deliver your orders, avoid each other and can interact with an air traffic management system.
Looking too far ahead?
Businesses that think we have reached the ultimate level of any activity are bound to stagnate. The Project Wing website urges you to get out of exhaust fumes and look up at the limitless sky. We need a different way of looking at transportation systems, a system that re-imagines everything and tests all previous assumptions of how systems should function.
Drone delivery is one such system. If we were to transfer the road metaphor to the sky and try and control drone movement in this manner, we would end up putting traffic lights on Helium balloons. This solution is obviously not the right answer. Drone based transportation needs to be thought through from scratch. That is when we will unlock its real value.
Testing in Australia
Having reached a certain level of maturity, Project Wing has now shifted its testing to Googong in Canberra, Australia. While Googong and Google may have a lot of alphabets in common, the site was chosen because it had a large number of estates, low population clusters and Googonians were found to be very receptive to new technology.
Googong does not have a shopping district and citizens had to travel long distances for even basic supplies. This inconvenience made the value proposition even more attractive. The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority has also been very supportive, their wealth of experience with the Royal Flying Doctor Service has probably helped them see the value drone based logistics can bring. It is straightforward to see drones working in close cooperation and bringing new capabilities to the RFDS.
Overcoming local constraints
While Google and Amazon may work at the cutting edge of drone technology, many countries are quietly using drones to overcome their local constraints. Imaginative authorities such as those in South Africa are expanding the envelope and letting drones move into new areas. Imagination, technology and reduced red tape are really the key to a new transportation paradigm. The next few years are going to be exciting.
David King Chief Technical Officer
Serving as the Chief Technology Officer, David is responsible for the discovery and implementation of new technologies that yield competitive advantages while working closely with Executive Management to develop strategies to increase revenue and performs cost-benefit and return-on-investment analysis.
In October 2005, David joined AEgis Technologies as Director of the Simulation Development Group. During that time, David helped formulate the direction of AEgis’ software development efforts to ensure maximum reusability, thereby speeding ongoing development while reducing costs. His focus is technology transfer to commercial products and product development. Under his leadership, the Simulation Development Group developed and fielded over 8000 UAS training systems across the DOD. David has held the title of Vice President, Simulation Development and most recently, Executive Vice President, Technology Solutions Division.
With more than 25 years in the Modeling, Simulation, and Training industry – and having served in product design and development, technology advancement, project management, and leadership positions. David is a recognized leader and innovator in the MS&T industry, having co-founded, matured and sold a two-man start-up company into a highly-successful small business (CG2, Inc.) in just seven years with no outside venture capital or investments. In addition to being recognized locally as an “Outstanding Small Business” for three consecutive years by the Madison County Chamber of Commerce.
Before co-founding CG2, David spent eight years in the US Army in missile-related fields. He worked for Electronic Associates Inc. and later AMTEC Corporation at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, AL, on a broad range of projects including the Sensor Vision III Real-Time IR Scene Generator, JAVELIN, STINGER, CHAPARRAL BAT, AIT, and THAAD HWIL simulations.
Specialties: Modeling, Simulation and Training. Hardware in the Loop, real-time simulations.