Amazon delivery drones are coming to the UK
For the last year or so, Amazon has been talking up its vision for “drone deliveries”, and now it’s preparing to test them in the UK. In a statement released yesterday, Amazon said it’s partnering with the UK government to see just how its drone-delivery system would work.
The testing is about the legal and safety issues as much as the technology, and the UK government has already assembled a team including the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to run through the details. The new team will be looking at three main issues; operations beyond line of sight, obstacle avoidance; and flights with one pilot but multiple drones.
After these key issues and concerns are addressed, Amazon will be much closer to delivering on its “drone army” promise, and there’s every chance it’ll actually work. The test will be focused on drones carrying deliveries of 5lbs or less – and although that might seem light, it makes a lot of sense. It’s important to remember that Amazon sells everything from pens to flat-screen TVs, but according to an Amazon spokesperson, 90% of the products it sells weigh less than 5lbs.
Before we get Blu-rays delivered from the air, Amazon needs to make sure that its drones are safe, and won’t clutter airspace for other users. “We want to enable the innovation that arises from the development of drone technology by safely integrating drones into the overall aviation system,” said Tim Johnson, policy director of the CAA. “These tests by Amazon will help inform our policy and future approach.”