Last April, Google and Facebook engaged in a bidding tussle over the aerospace manufacturer Titan.
Google eventually won the battle, stating they would top all of the social media giant’s bids. (What they officially paid has not been publicly disclosed, although Facebook’s last offer was $60 million.)
As Ben Popper recently reported for The Verge, Google will begin conducting test flights of drones produced by Titan.
Invested in connecting people worldwide, whether in rural areas or in third-world population centers, Google looks to employ a “super-lightweight solar-powered airplane that would be capable of hovering in one area of the stratosphere,” writes Popper.
The drones are a counterpart to Google’s Project Loon — a program that develops high-altitude balloons that emit Internet-streaming signals. The extra bandwidth provided by the drones and balloons would deliver Internet access to underserved or disaster-struck areas on demand.
Google’s senior vice president, Sundar Pichai, sees the Loon program and Titan drones complementing one another “as a mesh of flying cell towers circling overhead,” according to The Verge.
Although it will take at least a few years of development and testing before the drones get off the ground, Google’s hope to bring the world’s four billion people under its umbra of “connectivity,” looms just beyond the horizon.