Amazon applies for delivery drone tests

DPA San Francisco | Updated on March 13, 2018

Amazon says that its drones would be able to deliver goods to most of its customers within 30 minutes or less.

Web retail giant has applied to the US government for permission to test delivery drones that will be able to whisk purchases to customers at 80 kilometres per hour.

According to the Wall Street Journal on Friday, Amazon’s application to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) claimed the speedy drones would be able to haul packages weighing over 2 kg, which would cover over 86 per cent of the products it sells.

Amazon first announced its drone program in December. In its latest filing the company said that its drones would be able to deliver goods to most of its customers within 30 minutes or less.

“We believe customers will love it, and we are committed to making Prime Air available to customers worldwide as soon as we are permitted to do so,” Paul Misener, vice president over global public policy was quoted as telling the FAA. Amazon said that it had already conducted extensive tests indoors and overseas, but that further testing was needed to advance the programme. The company issued a veiled warning that >if its request for testing was not approved it would move the programme to another country.

“Amazon would prefer to keep the focus, jobs, and investment of this important research and development initiative in the United States,” Misener wrote.

It said that the testing would be performed in a confined area over isolated Amazon property, away from airports, military bases and dense population centres. All the test devices would be equipped with a kill switch that would be able to force the drones to land in case of problems.

The drones would be programmed to automatically return to base in case communications were lost. “Amazon Prime Air, a new delivery system that will get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using aerial vehicles, is one invention we are incredibly passionate about,” said the retailer.

“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.”

Published on July 12, 2014

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