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Google Ready for Drone Delivery by 2017

Amazon and Walmart have been preparing for the arrival of drone delivery for several years, but it looks like Google will be ready in 2017.

David Vos, leader of the Internet giant’s Project Wing initiative, made the announcement Monday at an air traffic control convention near Washington, D.C., BBC News reported.

In the summer of 2014, Google—under its new holding company Alphabet Inc.—released a video of its own drone prototypes, measuring about about 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) wide and 0.8 meters (2.6 feet) tall, being tested in Australia.

Although Google has not yet announced what types of drones the company will use for delivery—nor has it said what kinds of packages those drones will be able to deliver—consumers can expect various vehicle types and shapes as the company continues to design and test.

Before Google or any of its competitors can start drone delivery, however, they need the right of way from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which is currently finalizing rules for drone operations to be published early in 2016.

Vos is also co-chair of an FAA task force charged with devising a drone registry to be put in place by Dec. 20 that would create an air traffic control system specifically for vehicles.

“We’re pretty much on a campaign here, working with the FAA, working with the small UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) community and the aviation community at large, to move things along,” Vos said.