Titan Aerospace, the Alphabet-owned company, and the Google drone program have been officially shut down as the company seems to be departing from the area.
Titan Aerospace is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is an aerospace company. The company manufactures and develops special drones. Back in 2014, it was acquired by Google Inc. This is part of the Alphabet group.
Project Titan was a part of the Google Access division. It should have come as a complement to another program. This was the Project Loon In 2015, it was brought into Alphabet’s X.
Both projects had a similar aim. They were meant to provide wireless internet. Large areas of the world could have beneficiated from the projects. Currently, they lack or have poor connectivity options.
Titan Aerospace should have ensured the drone-based features. Project Loon offered high altitude balloons. Back in 2016, Google decided to shut down Project Titan. It motivated its decision as follows. According to officials, Project Loon is more feasible.
The high-altitude balloons could offer a much more promising connectivity solution. They could be used in remote and rural parts of the world. Balloons would be a better technical and also economical solution.
Now, Alphabet will reportedly shut down Titan Aerospace. The company’s fate is as yet unclear. Reports about a shut-down started emerging last week. Alphabet seems to have given up on the drone technology.
Titan-provided drones could have had various uses. Their main purpose would have been ensuring connectivity. But they could have been useful in other areas as well. For example, they could have taken aerial pictures.
These would have covered the whole globe. Titan Aerospace drones could have also provided atmospheric data.
Still, their drone dreams encountered quite a few problems. Crashes are one such issue. The latest reports state that a Google drone went down in New Zealand.
About 50 Titan Aerospace team members will be moved. They will be moved to various other departments. It is as yet unclear if their project has been completely shut down. It may yet be absorbed into another project.
Still, Alphabet and Google seem to be departing the drone market. And especially the Internet connectivity one. Facebook is another big player in the domain.
The social media giant has various similar projects. These include Ascenta and Aquila. Both are being developed so as to be able to beam Internet.
Recently, the Internet industry has been really focusing on this issue. A number of big companies have gotten involved. These past few years saw a number of new such projects.
Still, the impact of Google’s departure remains to be established. Some suggest that it may affect the market. Google’s involvement could have led to a friendly competition.
The area in itself has quite a give and take nature. It might help connect people that have not had such a chance. At the same time, it might also bring profit to the respective companies. But it will also involve potentially unforeseen problems.
Facebook seems to be farther ahead in this drone area. Still, its problems have held it back quite a bit. An Aquila drone reportedly crashed in its maiden flight. An internet satellite exploded.
It remains to be seen how, when, and from whom the Internet-beaming drones area will develop. And if it will.
Image Source: Wikimedia