Amazon Drones To See Wider Experimenting In The U.S.

Image via Amazon drones are increasing their scope according to an article in USA Today. The drones emerged into the public eye earlier this year in a 60 Minutes special. The online retail giant is hoping to use the robots in urban areas in order to deliver packages quickly and easily to its customers. In order to do that, however, Jeff Bezos and Co. will need the robots to speed up, and regulators are standing in the way.

The Washington-based company is looking to have the Federal Aviation Authority allow a bump in the scope of the testing of the drones. Current regulations limit many aspects of the tests the company is able to perform and those bounds will stand in the way of any widescale deployment of its experimental delivery program for a long time.

Cheaper, Greener And FASTER Than A Car

There are a number of clear advantages for Amazon in its drone project. If it manages to put the program together, the robots will allow the company to avoid paying for postage in urban areas, cutting down costs to third parties. Where the company delivers packages itself the devices will cut labor costs along with fuel costs and the cost of acquiring fleet vehicles. The drones are also, quite obviously, greener than conventional vehicles and, amazingly, they’re faster too.

The top speed on an Amazon drone is apparently above 50 mph. That hardly beats the top speed of a petrol burning vehicle, but in city conditions, and at city speed limits, the flying delivery bots should be a great deal faster than anything a traditional courier could manage. The company is promising delivery of small packages, those under 5 pounds, to customers in under 30 minutes using the robot delivery service.

In order to deal with the problems inherent in planning a robotic future, and smoothing the logistics of the endeavor, Amazon needs to have a greater ability to test its drones. That’s just what it’s asking the Federal Aviation Authority in today’s appeal.

Amazon Needs More

What Amazon really wants is the ability to do widescale testing of its drones on its own property in Seattle. The company is, however, looking to expand beyond its own property in order to fully test the usability of its drone program. Paul Misener, the company’s vice president in charge of public policy, said that the firm was “continuing to work with the FAA to meet Congress’s goal of getting drones flying commercially in America safely and soon. We want to do more R&D close to home.”

Amazon shareholders are grappling with the idea of delivery drones. On one side it’s ludicrously futuristic, on the other hand, someone may manage it eventually and it’s better to have money on a horse in the race. Whatever the eventual success of the program, it’s clear that Amazon is dedicated to a future in robotics.