Amazon Seeks FAA Permission to Test 50 MPH Flying Drones
July 11, 2014 12:32 PM
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Amazon is gearing up for Prime Air
There is plenty of discussion surrounding the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles within the U.S. The U.S. National Parks Service
put the kibosh on drones within national parks because
they “can be extremely noisy, and can impact the natural soundscape.”
and the Georgia Institute of Technology of banded together to study the use of UAVs for
newsgathering and media coverage
The FAA is slowly warming up to the idea of providing greater freedom to operates UAVs in U.S. airspace, and
handed out the first commercial UAV license last month
. Now Amazon is knocking on the FAA’s door for permission to start its own UAV trials.
, Amazon is seeking permission to fly drones in the Seattle area in preparation for its much-ballyhooed
Prime Air delivery service
. Amazon’s Prime Air delivery vehicles would be capable of carrying five-pound packages at up to 50 mph.
As previously reported by Amazon, the five-pound capacity would be enough to support 86% of the products that the company sells on its website. Amazon is hoping that once fully operational, its Prime Air service will be able to deliver packages to customers in 30 minutes or less (you hear that,
In fact, Amazon has extremely high hopes for its Prime Air service, stating, “One day, seeing Amazon Prime Air will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today, resulting in enormous benefits for consumers across the nation.”
Amazon has the resources to make such an endeavor possible, and noted in its letter that it is already working on its eighth- and ninth-generation UAVs. In addition, the company has amassed a team that includes “world-renowned roboticists, scientists, aeronautical engineers, remote sensing experts, and a former NASA astronaut.”
Amazon is seeking FAA approval because its UAV efforts have thus far been limited to indoor testing or in other countries. Testing a 50 mph drone is obviously problematic and Amazon would rather perform flights tests closer to its Seattle headquarters where it’s cost effective rather than perform the tests in another country.
FAA Request [PDF]
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
7/11/2014 3:51:33 PM
You can always choose your delivery method. I order a lot of random, not-valuable, items that this would be good for. Obviously you couldn't use it for anything where a signature is required, but for a lot of things, it would work perfectly.
7/11/2014 4:48:11 PM
somebody be for this? We're talking 30 minute delivery of virtually anything under 5lbs on Amazon Prime.
Think about it...memory upgrades, baby formula, diapers, stick of butter, toothpaste, coffee creamer, extension cord, even an entire laptop computer\tablet, to your door in 30 minutes for probably $10 shipping. That's what it'd cost me alone in gas to go to a store and get it, while probably taking more than 30 minutes to do, and paying tax on top of it.
We're talking 5lbs here. Unless there is a serious of disasters (which after the program is thoroughly tested, there shouldn't be) I don't see someone hijacking something that likely has cameras, audio recording, and GPS tracking. Do people steal police cars all the time? No, even though they're constantly left unlocked with the keys in the ignition, and sometimes even running.
"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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