Google to Acquire Drone-Maker Also Wanted by Facebook
Google is to acquire drone-producer Titan Aerospace, the solar-powered vehicles of which could provide better aerial images and enhance Internet connectivity in remote areas.
Other advantages or the drone technology are also expected to be of use. In a statement, the search giant announced that "atmospheric satellites could help bring internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation."
The price of the deal has not been disclosed.
Facebook also showed interest in Titan, reportedly offering USD 60 M to buy the company, but instead paid USD 20 M for Ascenta, a UK firm working on solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicles.
Among features developed by Titan are data delivery, crop monitoring and search-and-rescue aid. Drone experts suggest the company's vehicles might prove to be quite suitable for providing Internet service, as thay can spend up to five years in the air without landing, USA Today has reported.
Google is already working on projects envisaging Internet beaming by hot-air balloons. By planning to use drones for that purpose, however, the company has divided opinions, as the unmanned vehicles could infringe privacy and collect personal data.
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