Amazon Drone Delivery Could Debut in the UK
Ashley Allen / 3 years ago
Amazon Prime Air, the company’s proposed drone delivery service, could be coming to the UK first. While Amazon has struggled to get the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on board with its proposed drone-powered delivery system, the company has entered into a partnership with the UK Government’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to explore debuting the service in the British Isles.
“The UK is a leader in enabling drone innovation – we’ve been investing in Prime Air research and development here for quite some time,” Paul Misener, Amazon’s Vice President of Global Innovation Policy and Communications, said. “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 partnership aims to explore three key innovations, which it lists as “beyond line of sight operations in rural and suburban areas, testing sensor performance to make sure the drones can identify and avoid obstacles, and flights where one person operates multiple highly-automated drones.”
“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 UK is charting a path forward for drone technology that will benefit consumers, industry and society.”
Prime Air has already reached Europe in the form of a research centre in Graz, Austria, which opened earlier this year, where “sense and avoid” technologies are being tested and developed.
“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.”