Google X have secretly been working on a fleet of aerial drones for the past two years, according to The Atlantic. The latest in the tech giant’s offerings outside the Web sees intentions of entering the commerce and package delivery market in direct competition with Amazon, who revealed on-going work on a similar drone initiative last December.

A Google spokesperson told Wired, “Self-flying vehicles could open up entirely new approaches to moving things around—including options that are faster, cheaper, less wasteful, and more environmentally sensitive than the way we do things today.”

The Google X team first started discussing the possibility of building flying vehicles back in 2011. In July 2012, Nick Roy of the MIT Aeronautics & Astronautics program, joined the company to examine the potential of such a scheme. According to a white paper released by Google, the initial purpose of the drones was to deliver defibrillators to heart attack victims.

Drone prototypes were recently tested in Queensland, Australia, where the drones were able to drop a package of chocolate bars to a farmer in the vicinity. Ray Gobberg, spokesperson for Google said it was too early to discuss business models encompassing the delivery drones, but “self-flying vehicles could offer a cheaper, faster and less wasteful way to move goods.”

Read more here.

(Image credit: Google)

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