AvWeb has a very interesting article on possible Google involvement with drones and ADS-B.
For those new to ADS-B, at a high level it is digital beacon that must be installed on all airliners world-wide, and in the USA all airplanes by 2020. The cost is borne by the airplane operator, and ranges from $5,000 for a small plane to $1 million or more for an airliner, including avionics and installation costs.
“ADS-B out” is the digital transmitter, and “ADS-B in” is the digital reception of weather and ATC data.
Since $5,000+ is a lot of money for something that doesn’t make you fly better, if the FAA decides to impose ADS-B on drones, then a big outside player like Google or Amazon will have to design/manufacture low cost versions to make drones cost-effective. Like an order of magnitude cheaper, or even two.
One of the commenters has an interesting question, “Just how many airborne ADS-B devices can the FAA’s ground-bound infrastructure handle at one time? The answer to that question may frame the response that we can expect from the agency… Seriously.”
wikipedia: Traffic collision avoidance system