Google (GOOGL) News: Parent Company Alphabet Trims Project Wing, Ends Drone Talks With Starbucks

International Business Times

If you were dreaming of having your next grande no-whip soy latte delivered by drone, you can forget about it. Project Wing's wings were clipped by Google parent Alphabet as it tightens budgets across the board, Bloomberg reported Tuesday, quoting people familiar with the decision. Bloomberg said the decision to end the proposed venture with Starbucks followed the departure of project leader Dave Vos, who has not been replaced. Hiring also was frozen, and some people were urged to seek employment elsewhere in the company, Bloomberg reported. The Alphabet decision comes as other companies are ramping up drone programs despite a lack of Federal Aviation Administration approval for deliveries outside test zones.


CES for Marketers: Alexa Wows, Virtual Reality Underwhelms

#artificialintelligence

Over the past few years the CES trade show has become a familiar post-holidays pilgrimage for many of the country's biggest marketers. They see the event as a way to get a sneak peek at the latest tech gadgets and technologies that can help them engage with their customers. This year marketing executives from companies such as Coca-Cola, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, Campbell Soup and PepsiCo Inc. made their way to Las Vegas for the gathering. The convention was jam-packed with everything from self-driving cars to robots that play chess to Procter & Gamble's air-freshener spray that can connect with Alphabet Inc.'s Nest home to automatically release pleasant scents in the home. But there was one category that seemed to especially win over marketers: virtual assistants.


Pot delivery by drone? California cannabis czars put the kibosh on stoner pipe dream

Los Angeles Times

If you imagined the skies of California would someday be buzzing with drones carrying tiny vials of pot or edibles for recreational marijuana users, think again because that stoner fantasy was just a pipe dream. California's Bureau of Cannabis Control last week outlined its plans to ban pot delivery by drone, putting the kibosh on any business hoping to make a buck on the concept. On Wednesday, the bureau released an initial study describing proposed emergency regulations for commercial cannabis businesses ahead of Jan. 1, when marijuana sales, with proper retail licensing, will be allowed for recreational use in California. In its study -- Commercial Cannabis Business Licensing Program Regulations -- the bureau is clear: Marijuana must be transported in trailers or commercial vehicles. If the message was lost, the bureau goes a bit further: "Transportation may not be done by aircraft, watercraft, rail, drones, human-powered vehicles or unmanned vehicles."


Uber to announce plans to use DRONES to deliver food to your door in under five MINUTES

Daily Mail

Uber Technologies Inv. hopes to use drones in San Diego to deliver food as part of an innovative commercial test program approved by the federal government on Wednesday. Dara Khosrowshahi, the company's chief executive officer, described how deliveries could be expected in between five to 30 minutes depending on if they were done by humans or drones. 'Push a button and get food on your doorstep,' he said, according to Yahoo Finance. Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber's chief executive officer, described how deliveries could be expected in between five to 30 minutes The executive was speaking to a crowd during an on-stage interview with Bloomberg at a Uber Elevate conference in Los Angeles when he said that Uber had become the largest food delivery business in the world. The CEO has been a skeptic of the flying car program but seems to be playing a different tune as of late.


PepsiCo’s new food delivery robots are every college stoner’s dream

Mashable

You're hungry, you're parched, you're terrified of the outside world, and the prospect of moving off of your bean bag is a true impossibility. What is there to do? Ladies and gents, meet the Snackbot. On Thursday, PepsiCo announced that is is rolling out a fleet of R2D2-lookin' robots at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif. The robots are basically cute vending machines that can roll around campus on their own. They look a lot like a cooler on wheels, and students can order the robots to deliver snacks to them from PepsiCo's Hello Goodness line via an app.