Google Parent Alphabet Goes Cost-Cutting & Fat-Trimming, Ends Ambitious Titan Drone ProjectBy Erwin Castro, UniversityHerald Reporter
Google's parent company, Alphabet has killed off its solar-powered internet-drone program Titan, an ambitious project to send drones aloft that would beam wireless Internet access on Earth. Alphabet has confirmed reports to Business Insider, ending its ambitious solar-powered drone exploration.
According to TechCrunch, Alphabet is reassigning members of the Titan team to other projects like Projects Loon and Project Wing. The news about Titan shutdown comes after Bloomberg reported that Alphabet plans to sell its own satellite-imaging service, Terra Bella.
The move is the latest step on the company's effort to cut back its ambitious "moonshot" projects, which is said to drain Alphabet in terms of key resources and manpower.
The Rise And Fall Of Google Titan Project
Google has acquired the high-flying drone specialist Titan Aerospace in 2014. The Albuquerque-based drone company has been developing high-altitude, solar-powered drones that could fly for several days and take images of earth. Titan previously claimed its drones are capable of collecting real-time, high-resolution images of the earth and even carry other atmospheric sensors services.
However, when Google went into massive overhaul and came up with a new parent company called Alphabet in 2015, the Titan project was absorbed into the company's experimental X division. Titan was lumped into Project Wing, the Google X divison responsible for delivery drones. Since then, Google has revealed other Drone-related projects such as Project Wing and some Google Tango-based prototypes.
According to Business Insider, Google's Titan project ended sometime last year, but the Titan team declined to comment on this story. Some Titan employees were reportedly reassigned to other parts of the Google X division, including Project Loon. Project Loon makes high-altitude balloons that used to beam the internet from the sky. Google declined to comment how many Titan employees have lost their jobs in the said closure.
Google X has conducted several feasibility studies to find out which fares better between two of its ambitious projects --Titan and Project Loon -- to come up with a better plan. The studies found that at, this time, Project Loon presents a much more promising way to connect remote parts of the world.
The fall of Titan is the latest example of Alphabet's attempt to cut back the ambitious projects that don't work well with the company's overall strategy. Instead, Alphabet plans to focus more on projects it believes can generate additional revenue and offer growth opportunities for the company.
This is not the first time Alphabet has done something bold like this. Lasst year, it shut down future expansion plans for its high-speed home internet service Google Fiber. Latest rumors said that Alphabet may end up selling its high-speed internet service Google Fiber to the highest bidder.