The Wall Street Journal: Alphabet unit to unveil system to track, identify airborne drones

Alphabet’s Inc. GOOGL, -1.33% GOOG, -1.23%   Wing unit and two other companies say they demonstrated a novel system to identify airborne drones, potentially paving the way toward expanded commercial uses of unmanned aircraft.

The concept, tested in December near San Francisco and expected to be announced on Tuesday, is aimed at tracking different types of drones using disparate software applications linked by a common web-based system. By sharing such data, the companies say the location of drones and identity of operators can be captured easily on laptops, cellphones or other digital devices simultaneously.

Under the concept, operators, government agencies and individual citizens would have access to the data.

The recent test results are expected to provide momentum for proposed package delivery to consumers and many other drone uses currently stalled by regulatory hurdles. U.S. air-safety and law-enforcement officials have balked at approving extensive commercial drone operations without reliable identification techniques.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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