Google is looking to use drones in an innovative way, with plans to fight wildfires with them.
Drones are one of the fastest-growing industries, being used for deliveries, surveillance, real estate, recreation and more. Google may be on the verge of using them for one of the most unique, and arguably important, role yet.
According to a Federal Register (PDF) notice Google is seeking permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to test drones for fire-fighting.
Google Research Climate and Energy Group (Google Research) seeks relief to operate the HSE-UAV M8A Pro unmanned aircraft system, weighing over 55 pounds (lbs.) but no more than 98.8 lbs., for testing fire-fighting and monitoring operations with first person view technology located at a confined private property in Firebaugh, California.
Should the FAA give Google permission to proceed, drones could become an important element in the growing fight against yearly wildfires. Drones could be especially helpful in monitoring vulnerable forests and serving as an early warning system for a fraction of the cost involved in using planes or helicopters.