Amazon partners with UK government to test delivery drones
Amazon is partnering with the government to test the various technologies that may one day make the delivery of parcels by small drones a reality.
A cross-Government team supported by the UK Civil Aviation Authority has provided Amazon with permissions to explore three key innovations: beyond line of sight operations in rural and suburban areas, testing sensor performance to make sure the drones can identify and avoid obstacles, and flights where one person operates multiple highly-automated drones.
Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president of global innovation policy and communications, said: “The UK is a leader in enabling drone innovation – we’ve been investing in Prime Air research and development here for quite some time. This announcement strengthens our partnership with the UK and brings Amazon closer to our goal of using drones to safely deliver parcels in 30 minutes to customers in the UK and elsewhere around the world.”
It is hoped the work will also help identify what operating rules and safety regulations will be needed to help move the drone industry forward.
“Using small drones for the delivery of parcels will improve customer experience, create new jobs in a rapidly growing industry, and pioneer new sustainable delivery methods to meet future demand,” said Misener. “The UK is charting a path forward for drone technology that will benefit consumers, industry and society.”
Amazon said the CAA will be fully involved in the work.
Tim Johnson, CAA policy director, added: “We want to enable the innovation that arises from the development of drone technology by safely integrating drones into the overall aviation system. These tests by Amazon will help inform our policy and future approach.”
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