Google’s purchase of Titan Aerospace, a New Mexico-based startup that builds unmanned vehicles capable of flying long distances and durations, came after Facebook reportedly eyed Titan and ultimately took over another drone startup last month.
The two Silicon Valley rivals are increasingly vying to build or buy promising technology and stake their claims to new business models and emerging markets — whether it’s using artificial intelligence to deliver personalized services or offering low-cost mobile messaging to millions of people in developing nations.
“They’re definitely looking for the next big innovation,” said Jeff Vining, a tech industry analyst at the Gartner research firm. He added: “Civilian uses for drones are going to explode far beyond the public safety and military uses we know of today.”
Some smart member of Congress ought to introduce legislation defining the airspace above private land, up to maybe 1,000 feet or so, shall be defined as part of that private property. Kinks will have to be worked out such as the exact height-above-ground, but it’s absolutely mandatory that the bill include a provision for civilian-grade surface-to-air missiles.