Google is a company with many hats and many projects that it is enthusiastic about getting out. One of those projects focuses on drone delivery, something Amazon is working with at the moment with Prime Air—and something that is sure to catch on with other retailers. Fast Company reported on a patent Google was granted earlier this week that will focus on package delivery using that same method with an added ground game.
The patent was filed during October 2014 and has been called “Project Wing.” It seems that it would cut down on distance for aerial drone and the ground vehicle and focus on the safety of the package and even owner property.
The plan seems to be for the receptable to leave a location closet to or from the seller or service center, travel to a midway point where the aerial drone would be near either at a kind of base or a mobile base (a truck the patent suggests), and communicate via infrared with the aerial drone for it to pick up and deliver the package the rest of the way.
There will be security steps taken to project the package given that potential thieves would catch on to the travel routes of the ground vehicle and the drop off point. Google said that it deliver the package to a secure public spot: a raised spot away that would be hard for the thieves or pets to reach, a secure enclosure on the property, a locker or location where the owner of the package could go and pick it up, etc.
If customers use Project Wing for deliveries often, Google could come up with a structure that would be used as a landing platform for drones that serves as a bullseye for it. It could be easier to just establish a pickup location if the intended receiver isn’t at the delivery location.
Dave Vos, the head of Project Wing, said that the launch goal for the service is 2017 back in late 2014. Towards the end of 2013 Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos put the launch of Prime Air within a five year window.