The unmanned aerial vehicle project at X,
which we call Wing, has as its aspiration to remove the bulk of the remaining friction
from how we move physical things around in the physical world, particularly the so-called
last mile problem. If you look at the history of how physical
things have been moved around in the physical world, every time a chunk of the remaining
friction was removed from that process, boats, planes, trains, the automobile, the Pony Express,
the mail system, every one of these things as we got more organized and removed cost
and complexity from how physical things got moved around in the world the world became
so different that it was impossible before hand to even predict how different and how
much better it would be on the other side of that introduction. We take for granted the remaining friction
as though it’s natural and will continue forever. If you could have anything that would fit
in a bread box brought to you within one or two minutes, you still have to pay for the
thing that’s in the breadbox but it could be brought to you nearly for free, then our
world would be radically different. Those batteries that are sitting in a drawer
in your house or apartment right now discharging, you have those batteries, you’re wasting the
planet because you think you might need a few of those batteries before they fully discharge
on some Christmas morning or something. But if you believed you could have any shaped
battery you want just in the moment you need it you wouldn’t bother holding all those batteries. You probably have a hammer in your house or
apartment. Why do you have that hammer? You almost never use it. And we all have to have a hammer for the occasional
moment when we want the hammer. But we could probably share one hammer around
10,000 of us. Think how much richer the world would be if
we could have that. How are we going to make it so that you could
have the hammer just appear within a moment or two when you want it? You say I want to hammer, you get a cup of
coffee at the most and the hammer is there. And our proposal for how to do that is that
you can make small vehicles that fly through the air quietly and very safely and bring
to you whatever you want. Our prediction is that at first society will
adopt these for the use of delivering food. Food is something that almost everybody uses
and that they use on a very regular basis. There’s already a very robust food delivery
market and people express an interest in having a lot more delivered to them, with respect
to food. So that is likely to be the early adoption
of this technology. But the long run promise of being able to
move things around inside of cities and suburban areas in particular without having to create
more traffic congestion, without of the carbon footprint that comes from large trucks moving
packages around, without the sound and safety problems produced by large trucks moving around
our city, all of those problems can be solved by flying what you want what you need right
now to you through the air. We’re public about the fact that we did more
than a thousand flights last year in Wing and I would like to see at least 100 times
that many this year and 100 times as many the year after that and I don’t think that
that’s at all out of the question. There are regulatory conversations to be had
and demonstrations of safety to be proven as we step through this process in the United
States and in other countries. And it’s important that we push hard on the
technology but also work thoughtfully and responsibly with the regulators to demonstrate
the safety and to build their confidence in what we’re doing as we take each incremental
step.