Amazon has announced that it will be partnering with the UK government to explore the steps needed to make the delivery of parcels by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) a reality.
A cross-government team, supported by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), has permitted Amazon to explore the use of drones in performing beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) operations in rural and suburban areas; flights where one person operates multiple automated drones; and testing sensor performance to make sure the drones can identify and avoid obstacles.
Paul Misener, vice president of global innovation policy and communications, Amazon, 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.
“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,” added Misener. “The UK is charting a path forward for drone technology that will benefit consumers, industry and society.”
As well as helping Amazon and the government to understand how drones can be used safely, the tests will also help identify what operating rules and safety regulations will be needed to help move the drone industry forward in the UK.
Tim Johnson, policy director, CAA, said, “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.”
Images courtesy of Amazon
July 26, 2016