Technology is an ever-changing industry -- just look at Google.
Startups are founded and collapse on a seemingly daily basis -- and Google's moonshots are no different. Alphabet confirmed to Business Insider it is killing its solar-powered drone project. 9to5Google first reported the news Wednesday. Project Titan had been part of X, or X Labs, Google's moonshot incubator. Ever since the creation of Alphabet, however, X has experienced many high-level departures, according to Bloomberg, including project leaders and engineers. Tony Fadell of Google-owned Nest, for instance, recently left.
In 2014, Google, which now falls under the parent company Alphabet, bought Titan Aerospace, a firm that developed solar-powered drones. These drones were unique because they could fly at high altitudes for long periods of time, and they can collect real-time, high-resolution images of the Earth. They also feature atmospheric sensors and support voice and data services. It was presumed Google would use them to enhance its Maps offerings and to beam affordable internet onto remote, rural parts of the world with no connectivity.
But now it appears neither will happen.
Alphabet also recently put Boston Dynamics up for sale and turned its self-driving car project into a standalone business called Waymo. Each of these decisions signal an effort at Alphabet to trim down and save on costs. According to a spokesperson for X, many people from the Project Titan team are still working at Alphabet but have been moved to other existing projects at X, including Loon and Project Wing.
In a statement, the spokesperson said Alphabet believes Project Loon - a network of balloons designed to extend internet connectivity to people in rural and remote areas of the world - is more economical and technically feasible than Project Titan.