Project Wing Brings Us One Step Closer to an Air Traffic Control System for Drones

Ever since drones were introduced to the world, it took not all that long until regulators decided to crash the party. Thanks to Amazon and Google, we may soon have an air traffic control system for drones and professional quadcopters. This is a big step toward using these devices as delivery vehicles, although that will not happen overnight by any means. Project Wing is quite an interesting development, though.

An Air Traffic Control System For Drones

Rest assured a lot of people are not too amused by the strict regulations associated with drones and quadcopters. A lot of people want to take these devices outside to have fun, but one needs a specific license to do so in a lot of countries. That is only to be expected, though, considering the skies may get crowded with a lot of these devices very soon. Especially when drones become delivery vehicles, which could happen a lot sooner than people think.

Thanks to Project Wing, an air traffic control system for drones, the new system is a lot closer than most people realized. Creating such a delivery mechanismĀ is no easy feat by any means, and a lot of companies around the world are working on a similar concept. Project Wing, a subsidiary of Alphabet, is getting quite close to completing their iteration of such an air traffic control system, though. In fact, the company deployed a prototype system during a series of tests.

These tests are organized by the Federal Aviation Administration and NASA. The software used for this drone air traffic control system makes use of multiple Google systems, including Google Maps for navigational purposes. Interestingly enough, this prototype is in an advanced stage of development, as it successfully managed the flight paths of multiple drones and quadcopters at the same time. Considering we may see thousands of these machines in their air at the same time soon, properly keeping them out of one another’s path is of the utmost importance.

Do keep in mind this successful prototype test is just one step along the way. A lot of work has to be done behind the scenes before such an air traffic control system can even become a reality. Eventually, such a system could allow for one operator to fly multiple aircraft at the same time, which would be good news for Amazon, among others. After all, the company wants to deploy drones as delivery vehicles sooner rather than later.

If this rate of progression keeps up, it will only take a few more years until such a system comes to fruition. Assuming that will be the case by then, the new challenge becomes getting thousands of drones operational at the same time. That will be quite a thorough test of such a system, especially when it is still being put through its paces. To put this into perspective, the latest test revolved around using three drones. That is quite different compared to controlling thousands at the same time.

No one will deny this is a major breakthrough for a drone-oriented air traffic control system. However, everything needs to be taken into perspective, and we will not see drones delivering products to one’s home anytime soon. The technology will always be well ahead of the regulatory requirements associated with using it. This particular industry will be no different in that regard, unfortunately.

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