Google beats Facebook to acquisition of drone maker

Google has just agreed to buy Titan Aerospace, a maker of high-altitude solar-powered drones that was in acquisition talks with Facebook just a few months ago. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Mountain View company hopes to use these long-lasting autonomous vehicles to assist its Project Loon project, which aims to broadcast internet signals to parts of the world that can't get online. Facebook, on the other hand, went ahead with another drone company called Ascenta for, its own worldwide internet initiative. Google has uses for Titan beyond just Project Loon, however. The drones could also be useful for Makani, a Google project to build an energy-efficient airborne wind turbine. As the unmanned planes are also able to collect high-res images of earth and support voice and data services, they could also be of use in other Google divisions, such as Maps. While all Titan employees are now a part of Google, they'll remain in New Mexico for the time being. The terms of the purchase have not been disclosed.