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July 26, 2016

Amazon Now Testing Its Delivery Drones in Britain

Amazon is teaming up with the British government to test drone delivery systems.

A cross-Government team supported by the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has given Amazon the green light to test three forms of drone technology:

  • Beyond line of sight operations in rural and suburban areas;
  • Sensor performance to make sure the drones can identify and avoid obstacles;
  • Flights during which one person operates multiple highly-automated drones.

These tests will shed light on how to safely use drones in the logistics industry as well as identify what operating rules and safety regulations must be put in place to help the drone industry grow.

“The U.K. is a leader in enabling drone innovation – we’ve been investing in Prime Air research and development here for quite some time,” Amazon vice-president of global innovation policy and communications Paul Misener said. “This announcement strengthens our partnership with the U.K. and brings Amazon closer to our goal of using drones to safely deliver parcels in 30 minutes to customers in the U.K. 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,” Misener added. “The U.K. is charting a path forward for drone technology that will benefit consumers, industry and society.”

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced back in December 2013 that his company had plans to use drones for delivery of products within the next five years. The initiative, which has been dubbed Amazon Prime Air, will only be used to deliver packages that weigh five pounds or less. Flying under 400 feet and weighing less than 55 pounds, Prime Air drones will use a sophisticated ‘sense and avoid’ technology, as well as a high degree of automation, to safely operate beyond the line of sight to distances of at least 10 miles or more.

“One day, Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today,” the company said in a post.

Prime Air will eventually work something like this:


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.