Amazon partners with UK government to test drone deliveries

Amazon prime airE-commerce giant Amazon has partnered with the UK government to test some aspects of its drone delivery parameters.

The tests include piloting the machines beyond the line of sight of its operators, testing sensor performance to make sure the drones can identify and avoid obstacles and flights where one person operates multiple highly-automated drones are to begin immediately with the support of the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

“The UK is a leader in enabling drone innovation; we’ve been investing in Prime Air research and development here for quite some time,” said Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president of Global Innovation Policy and Communications.

“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.”

Amazon’s Prime Air is a future delivery system designed to safely get packages up to 5 pounds to customers in 30 minutes or less using small drones.

Amazon and the UK government said the partnership will enable them to understand how drones can be used safely and reliably in the logistics industry. It will also help identify what operating rules and safety regulations will be needed to help move the drone industry forward.

“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,” said Misener.

“The UK is charting a path forward for drone technology that will benefit consumers, industry and society.”

As the UK’s aviation safety regulator, the CAA will be fully involved in this work to explore the potential for safe use of drones beyond line of sight. The outcomes of these tests will help inform the development of future policy and regulation in this area.

“We want to enable the innovation that arises from the development of drone technology by safely integrating drones into the overall aviation system,” said Tim Johnson, CAA Policy Director. “These tests by Amazon will help inform our policy and future approach.”

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