In a bid to bring fast internet access to remote corners of the world, Google has purchased Titan Aerospace, a company that makes high-altitude, solar-powered drones that can remain in the air for about five years.
Although the value of the deal was not divulged, Titan’s website revealed that it would start launching these drones as early as 2015. With a wingspan of 165 feet, these unmanned aircrafts can fly at a dizzying height of 65,000 feet.
“Titan Aerospace and Google share a profound optimism about the potential for technology to improve the world,” said a representative from the search giant.
“It’s still early days, but atmospheric satellites could help bring internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation.”
Founded in 2012, the New Mexico-based drone maker currently employs 20 workers.
Several weeks before Google’s acquisition of Titan Aerospace, its rival Facebook also announced its intention to manufacture solar-powered satellites and drones capable of transmitting internet connections to secluded parts of the globe.
In fact, the social media giant was previously planning to acquire Titan for up to US$60 million. However, it opted to buy UK-based drone maker Ascenta for around US$20 million in March.
Speaking of drones, e-commerce giant Amazon also plans to use these unmanned aircraft to deliver products on the same day they are ordered. This service is still undergoing tests, and it could take a number of years for it to get off the ground.