Alphabet, the parent company of internet giant Google, has revealed that it has closed its project relating to internet carrying, solar powered drones – Project Titan.
Project Titan was initially created back in 2014 when Google acquired US-based drone experts Titan Aerospace – a company with expertise in launching solar-powered drones. The idea behind the project was to launch a series of drones that would beam internet connections to the more remote areas of the globe, giving more of the world’s population an opportunity to enhance their daily lives through the use of internet technology.
Titan was seen as something that would complement another project it was working on with the same objective – Project Loon. Whereas Titan would use solar-powered drones, Loon uses high-altitude weather balloons instead. Alphabet has confirmed that it will continue to work on Project Loon despite the decision regarding Titan.
A statement from Google’s X division, which is where Project Titan was based, reveals that it was shut down as far back as this time last year. As part of the statement, the reasoning behind the closure of Titan is that the company believed that Project Loon presents a more promising way of the company succeeding in its objectives.
Furthermore, many of the experts who were working on the Titan project are now being transferred across to Project Loon and other high flying projects within the X division, including one called Project Wing, which is focusing on commercial deliveries, with consumer goods and medical supplies being at the centre of this scheme.
Google is not the only company that is working on a project to bring internet access to the more remote areas of the planet. Facebook is working on its own project focusing on solar powered drones. The Facebook project is known as Aquila, and the unmanned vehicles have a similar wingspan of a Boeing 737 plane.
As part of the project, Facebook acquired UK based drone specialists Ascentia. As a result, Aquila took its maiden test flight earlier in the year. However, like Titan, this has also encountered some problems, including a crash and an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board over in the US.
With both internet titans showing similar interests, surely it can only be a matter of time before we see things being released into the stratosphere to deliver internet connections to all four corners of the world.