In a new change of pace, Amazon has announced that they will be testing the new technologies that they are using for drone delivery services in the U.K. after reaching an agreement with the government there.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has provided the necessary permissions for Amazon to test their drones in a limited capacity in certain rural and urban areas. Amazon will not be allowed to operate the drones in airspace that is higher than 400 feet, however.
“The UK is a leader in enabling drone innovation — we’ve been investing in Prime Air research and development here for quite some time,” explained Paul Misener, the Vice President of Global Innovation Policy and Communications at Amazon, in a statement to the press. “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.”
The CAA will be working closely alongside of Amazon to monitor the test flights. The agreement marks a step forward for the fledgling drone delivery service that Amazon has been in strong pursuit of. They’ve run into some roadblocks in the U.S. over the drones, namely due to the strictness of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and its new set of rules governing the usage of drones in cities.
The drones being tested weigh less than 55 pounds and are powered by onboard batteries. They are capable of traveling at speeds of up to 55 miles-per-hour and have backup programming functions in them for emergency landing as well as counter procedures to avoid mid-air collisions.
Amazon hopes to roll out the drone delivery service sometime in the near future. However, it will require that the company make it past hurdles in every country they wish to provide service in, in addition to also abiding by local city and county ordinances. With this amount of legwork involved, it’s safe to say that they have a pretty lengthy uphill battle ahead until being able to offer drone delivery service to their growing customer base worldwide.
You can find out more information about the Amazon Prime Air service by visiting their official webpage at: https://www.amazon.com/b?node=8037720011.