In a previous article, we talked about a plan of Facebook involving drones. The social media giant made blueprints for an internet-beaming drone that will go around the planet. Under this massive drone project, named Aquila, citizens can receive free internet connection. The idea was that these drones would circulate cities, regions, and countries. The nearest center would then bounce internet signal to the drone, which would then be provided to its vicinity.
Equipped with solar panels at their exteriors, these Aquila drones – which are the size of a full plane – would not need to land for fuel. They would simply use solar power to stay afloat, only coming down months at a time for routine maintenance.
That was the idea, anyway.
Facebook Aquila Drone Shut Down:
As of this week, Facebook made an announcement that they are scrapping the plans entirely. The reason for this is a bit complicated.
One factor for the decision was the increasing interest (on the same project) from aerospace companies. This means that better equipped – and better manned – companies closer to the field want to take a crack at it. Facebook, although has a large presence, still do not have the credibility to pull off the massive undertaking.
Another factor is the different failure incidents involving testing. A crash apparently occurred a year prior, with Facebook trying to cover it up. They touted it as a successful testing, even though eyewitness reports say otherwise.
This decline of credibility, and increasing number of competition eventually ended Facebook’s grand drone scheme. It did not help matters when Facebook’s credibility took a further hit from the public’s eye with all the privacy concerns.
Although Facebook is still not done in the drone business. Facebook is currently teaming up with the ride-hailing company Uber to create their very own Taxi Drone. This autonomous ride for one to two people may soon come out of testing by 2020. But for now, the projects are still at their infancy, so don’t get your hopes up just yet.