Inside Google's Secret Drone-Delivery Program

In Google’s case, that may mean they do what they’ve done with self-driving vehicles, where they hired Ron Medford, a former official at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to lobby regulators on their behalf. Medford, backed by Google, have had a clear influence on legislative processes in California, Nevada, and other states where self-driving car laws have passed. In this case, Google could hire someone from the Federal Aviation Administration and perhaps make similar in-roads.

Teller confirmed that Google wants a seat at the regulatory table. “It’s gonna take conversations with the public and with regulators. But so far in the conversations we’ve had over the last two years, and more intensely over the last couple months with regulators, I’m cautiously optimistic that everyone wants the same thing,” he said. “Everyone wants the world to be a great place that’s safe and has the benefits of the technology with as little or no downsides as possible.”

Never were more Google-y words spoken.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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