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Google’s Wing Aviation Receives Approval from FAA to Operate Drone for Deliveries

It's the first time a company has gotten a federal air carrier certification for drone deliveries

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Rumors suggest that Google may unveil a mid-range Pixel phone as a cheaper option to the flagship model currently on sale for $800. VOA

Google affiliate Wing Aviation has received federal approval allowing it to make commercial deliveries by drone.

It’s the first time a company has gotten a federal air carrier certification for drone deliveries. The approval from the Federal Aviation Administration means that Wing can operate commercial drone flights in part of Virginia, which it plans to begin later this year.

The FAA said Tuesday that the company met the agency’s safety requirements by participating in a pilot program in Virginia with the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership and Virginia Tech, and by conducting thousands of flights in Australia over the past several years.

“This is an important step forward for the safe testing and integration of drones into our economy,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a statement.

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“This is an important step forward for the safe testing and integration of drones into our economy,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a statement. Wikimedia

Wing said the approval “means that we can begin a commercial service delivering goods from local businesses to homes in the United States.”

The company didn’t name any businesses that would take part in commercial deliveries. It said it plans to spend the next several months demonstrating its technology and answering questions from people and businesses in Blacksburg and Christiansburg, Virginia.

Wing said it will “solicit feedback with the goal of launching a delivery trial later this year.”

Wing said that to win FAA certification it had to show that one of its drone deliveries would pose less risk to pedestrians than the same trip made in a car. The company said its drones have flown more than 70,000 test flights and made more than 3,000 deliveries to customers in Australia.

The company is touting many benefits from deliveries by electric drones. It says medicine and food can be delivered faster, that drones will be especially helpful to consumers who need help getting around, and that they can reduce traffic and emissions.

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FILE – A drone demonstrates delivery capabilities from the top of a UPS truck during testing in Lithia, Florida, Feb. 20, 2017. VOA

Drone usage in the U.S. has grown rapidly in some industries such as utilities, pipelines and agriculture. But drones have faced more obstacles in delivering retail packages and food because of federal regulations that bar most flights over crowds of people and beyond sight of the operator without a waiver from the FAA.

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The federal government recently estimated that about 110,000 commercial drones were operating in the U.S., and that number is expected to zoom to about 450,000 in 2022.

Amazon is working on drone delivery, a topic keen to CEO Jeff Bezos. Delivery companies including UPS and DHL have also conducted tests. (VOA)

Next Story

Google Pixel 4XL To Have A Brighter Camera

Google Pixel fans can expect a brighter camera and beefed up processing power in the upcoming Pixel 4 XL, according to new leaked images of a pre-release Pixel 4 XL provided by Vietnamese phone shop D Store Mobile

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Google Pixel XL smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

Google Pixel fans can expect a brighter camera and beefed up processing power in the upcoming Pixel 4 XL, according to new leaked images of a pre-release Pixel 4 XL provided by Vietnamese phone shop D Store Mobile, the media reported.

The primary rear camera will reportedly snap shots with a brighter f/1.73 aperture. Last year’s Pixel 3 had an aperture of f/1.8.

“Leaks of the upcoming camera app suggest that the phone will shoot in 16:9 by default so that photos can take up the entire camera screen, despite the sensor remaining 4:3. The effect is similar to what Apple is doing on the iPhone 11 models, which take advantage of the phone’s extra wide-angle lens to fill the screen,” The Verge reported on Saturday.

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New leaked images of a pre-release Pixel 4 XL provided by Vietnamese phone shop D Store Mobile. Pixabay

The details of the telephoto camera aren’t available as of now but it can be safely presumed there would be significant improvements to low-light photos and close-ups.

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The speedy 90Hz OLED screen remains the highlight, but one will also get a Snapdragon 855 processor with 6GB RAM, a 3,700mAh battery (on the XL) and 128GB of UFS storage on at least one model, according to Engadget. (IANS)