My wife and I were recently driving in Virginia, amazed yet again that the GPS technology on our phones could guide us through a thicket of highways, around road accidents, and toward our precise destination. The artificial intelligence (AI) behind the soothing voice telling us where to turn has replaced passenger-seat navigators, maps, even traffic updates on the radio. How on earth did we survive before this technology arrived in our lives? We survived, of course, but were quite literally lost some of the time. My reverie was interrupted by a toll booth. It was empty, as were all the other booths at this particular toll plaza.
Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. Drones and cookies apparently work well together. In April, Fox News reported that some Girl Scout troops across the country were having trouble with their cookie sales due to the pandemic. In Virginia, however, some members decided to try using drones to bring the popular cookies to customers.
Since October 2019, Alphabet's Wing has operated a drone delivery service five days per week in the tiny hamlet of Christiansburg, Virginia; a community of just over 20,000. The early testbed has been one to watch for a delivery drone sector that's just emerging from in a slowly evolving regulatory regime. Key to the future of drone delivery is positive consumer sentiment. So how do the people of Christiansburg feel about the delivery drone service that's made their community one of a small number of canaries in the coal mine for the consumer drone sector? In short, they love it.
Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. Girl Scouts in Virginia are going high tech when it comes to delivering their seasonal cookies. According to Google's drone delivery company Wing, a local troop in the town of Christiansburg has been using its service to test cookie dispatch. Girl Scouts Alice Goerlich (right) and Gracie Walker (left) pose with a Wing delivery drone in Christiansburg, Va. on April 14, 2021.
Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. A former Air Force intelligence analyst pleaded guilty Wednesday to leaking classified documents to a reporter about military drone strikes against al-Qaida and other terrorist targets. The guilty plea from Daniel Hale, 33, of Nashville, Tennessee, comes just days before he was slated to go on trial in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, for violating the World War I-era Espionage Act. Hale admitted leaking roughly a dozen secret and top-secret documents to a reporter in 2014 and 2015, when he was working for a contractor as an analyst at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).
Since the dawn of the drone era, enterprising pilots and enthusiasts have found ways to make money off their passion for flying. Thanks to a new partnership between the Drone Racing League and DraftKings, though, gamblers can now make money off of other people's passion for flying. While DraftKings can legally operate its daily fantasy sports business in 43 states, the company stresses that betting on drone races is currently only legal in Colorado, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Tennessee and New Jersey. "The sky is now the limit for DRL fans to get skin in the game, and we're thrilled to partner with DraftKings to transform our high-speed race competition into the ultimate sport to bet on," said DRL President Rachel Jacobson in a press release. Today's announcement makes drone racing the first aerial sport people can legally bet on, and Jacobson noted to Forbes that embracing betting is part of the company's plan to scale into an "ultimately mainstream sport."
Many U.S. states are lifting some or most of their COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, allowing folks to retain at least some semblance of pre-pandemic life. But not everyone is ready or able to venture outside again. And for those people, Google has a lofty solution. Public schools in Montgomery County, Va., last week became the first in the world to offer a library book drone delivery service. The idea--allowing kids to access titles even when the library was closed due to novel coronavirus--came from Kelly Passek, a Blacksburg Middle School librarian and one of the original Wing drone delivery customers.
Students aren't able to visit school libraries during the summer months anyway, but the pandemic has made it especially hard for many families to keep getting free reading material until public libraries reopen. Wing's library book delivery service is available to any of the roughly 600 students in the district who live in the delivery area. They won't have to return the books until school starts up again in the fall, Passek said.
Google's new drone delivery service Wing will help bring library books to school children in Christiansburg, Virginia to help make up for the city's library closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new initiative is being overseen by Kelly Passek, a librarian for Montgomery County Public Schools, who first pitched the idea to Wing. Students in Christiansburg can submit a request for books in the school district's library system and Passek will pull the book from the stacks and send it out in one of Wing's custom delivery containers. Google's Wing drone delivery service will now bring library books to school children in Christiansburg, Virginia'I think kids are going to be just thrilled to learn that they are going to be the first in the world to receive a library book by drone,' Passek told The Washington Post. Passek initially got the idea after wondering about how the 600-plus students in the school district were fairing after the county closed school campuses and libraries.
Demand for Alphabet's drone delivery Wing is soaring in a Virginia town amid the coronavirus pandemic. Residents of Christianburg are under stay at home orders and are taking advantage of the service to receive goods without having to leave their homes. Wing was approved to test deliveries in the area last October, but has recently added new vendors to better serve residents during the lockdown. The firm has made more than 1,000 deliveries in the past two weeks, with toilet paper, coffee and cookies being the most popular. Demand for Alphabet's drone delivery Wing is soaring in a Virginia town amid the coronavirus pandemic.