Google kills Project Titan, says balloons beat drones for Internet delivery

Death of a Titan.

Project Loon
Blair Hanley Frank

Alphabet has shut down its Titan unit that was exploring the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for the delivery of internet services.

The Google parent is instead focusing on its balloons-based Project Loon to deliver the internet to remote areas.

Google acquired in 2014 Titan Aerospace and the team from the drone startup was brought in late 2015 into the X research lab, which incubates a number of Alphabet moonshot projects like the Project Wing project for drone-based delivery.

The work on the use of high-altitude UAVs for internet access was ended shortly after, as it was found that in comparison, at this stage “the economics and technical feasibility of Project Loon present a much more promising way to connect rural and remote parts of the world,” Alphabet said in a statement Wednesday.

News of the shutdown of the Titan project was first reported by 9to5Google. Many people from the Titan team have been assigned to other projects at X, including Loon and Project Wing, Alphabet added.

The company has also invested in satellites that can beam internet signals to earth. In January 2015, Google invested in SpaceX, a private company led by Elon Musk, to design, manufacture and launch rockets and spacecraft.

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