Google has confirmed it has [5 ACROSS] its internet drone project Titan, three years after it [14 DOWN] the business.
The drones were designed to [12 DOWN] the internet to remote rural [11 ACROSS], complementing its Loon project – a similar initiative using hot [13 ACROSS] balloons.
However, the solar-powered vehicles have [1 DOWN] technical difficulties and funding challenges.
On Wednesday, [17 ACROSS] 9to5 Google revealed Titan had actually shut in early 2016.
A statement [9 ACROSS] X, the Google division responsible [1 ACROSS] Titan, confirmed the [10 DOWN].
“Titan was brought into X in late 2015. We ended our exploration of [19 ACROSS] altitude unmanned aerial vehicles for internet access shortly [4 DOWN],” it said.
“By comparison, at this stage the economics and technical feasibility of Project Loon present a much more promising [21 ACROSS] to connect rural and remote parts of the [2 ACROSS].”
Google acquired Titan Aerospace in 2014, reportedly fending [6 DOWN] a bid from Facebook, which has also [17 DOWN] trialling internet-providing drones.
At the [20 ACROSS] Google said it was “early days”, but that “atmospheric satellites could help bring internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental [7 DOWN] like deforestation”.
However, after test flights began in 2015, reports alleged that Titan was facing technical difficulties and was running [8 ACROSS] of money.
In mid-2015, the Titan team also experienced a crash in the Arizona desert which was later linked to a wing fault.
The statement added that “many” Titan [16 ACROSS] had been reassigned to different parts of the [14 ACROSS], including Project Loon and Wing, a division dedicated to providing drone-based deliveries.
Facebook’s internet [3 DOWN] have also faced problems.
The firm’s Aquila drone crashed during a test flight in June, prompting an investigation by the National Transportation [15 DOWN] Board, and an explosion destroyed [18 DOWN] of its satellites earlier in 2016.
SOURCE: BBC News