The website says it all: “Flying is complex.” And with that, Wing, a subsidiary of Google parent Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL), has introduced an app that it believes could form the basis for an air traffic control system for drones.
The OpenSky app is now available in the Google Play story and in the Apple App Store, but while it is designed for use now by tracking as few as one or a fleet of drones, Alphabet is betting its technology will underpin a future system when drones in the sky outnumber delivery vans on the roads, and someone will need to keep track of that air traffic.
Many businesses use drones for surveying, and more are using them to deliver goods, and it is that audience Wing is targeting with the app. The app includes a checklist of reminders such as staying clear of restricted airspaces and airports and avoiding other known hazards.
The company said it has worked with the Federal Aviation Administration and NASA in the U.S., CASA in Australia, Switzerland’s U-Space Implementation, and industry standards like ASTM International in developing OpenSky.
“This is Wing’s effort to try to make drone flying easier and safer for all operators,” James Burgess, CEO of Wing, told Bloomberg News. “We envision a future where it’s easy to access the sky and all drone operators are collaborative, able to follow the rules and work within the constructs of whatever aviation regulation and rules are in place in a country.”
OpenSky is now available in Australia and the company is hoping to receive approval from other countries soon.
Did you know?
Available industrial warehouse space increased in the second quarter to 7.1 percent in the top 51 U.S. markets, according to CBRE.
“With the [negative 5.3 percent] drop in June following the [negative 6 percent] drop in May, we repeat our message from last month: the shipments index has gone from ‘warning of a potential slowdown’ to ‘signaling an economic contraction’.”
– From the Cass Freight Index June report
In other news:
Flooding devastates food bank’s truck fleet
A Minnesota-based food bank, Channel One, has lost one-third of its vehicle fleet as a result of June flooding. (KIMT 3)
Amazon workers protest on Prime Day
Korean Air suspends cargo operations in three cities
Falling revenue has triggered the halt of cargo operations in three cities, Korean Air said. The company will stop transporting cargo in Gwangju, Cheongju and Daegu on October 1, 2019. (The Loadstar)
FedEx on top, but Qatar quickly closing among top cargo airlines
Rail cargo volumes shrinking
Railroad carload volumes fell 2.9 percent in the first half of the year, according to the Association of American Railroads. (Wall Street Journal)
Goldman Sachs’ transport analyst Jordan Alliger believes competitive pressures from digital disruptors are a real concern for incumbent transportation and logistics firms, but that those incumbents’ valuations already reflect those concerns. Most importantly, though, is that Alliger thinks there is still upside to sector due to their technology investments to help them weather the current digital disruptors.
Hammer down everyone!