Sunday, March 18, 2012

Amazon Seeking Permission to Test Drones Outdoors

Amazon GPS drone delivery

We talked about this a few months ago, but in case you forgot, Amazon has been working on the idea of using drones to deliver packages weighing less than 5 lbs. to consumers. These PrimeAir drones, they claim, will be ready to launch in 2015 and will be able to deliver packages to consumers in 30 minutes–as opposed to waiting several days for the old-fashioned truck and delivery man to arrive.

Last week, Amazon announced they are now ready to conduct tests out of a lab setting and have applied with the Federal Aviation Administration for permission to test drones outdoors in their facility near Seattle. The U.S. has regulations about where drones may be tested as well as a complicated string of paperwork proving airworthiness and certifications to operate the drones, so no word yet whether or not it will be approved.

Currently, the use of drones for commercial purposes is not allowed in the United States, but Amazon hopes that will change and they are pushing forward with eagerness. According to a New York Times article, Amazon indicated in an open letter to the FAA that they are serious about this project, and if the FAA would not allow for the testing in the U.S., then Amazon has no problem with taking the testing to other countries.

There still seems to be quite a bit of controversy and trepidation over the idea of packages being delivered instantly to your door by a drone, but it certainly looks cool. Check out this video demonstrating Amazon’s PrimeAir:

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