Drone testing for Amazon has been in the works for some time, and now it looks like this might be expanding even further. Amazon has started to massively expand its testing for drone deliveries across the United Kingdom, with the hope that Brits will be able to enjoy rapid package delivery in shorter spaces of time than even their American counterparts.
This next stage in drone testing will allow Amazon to start piloting the machines beyond the line of sight of operators – a feat not allowed in the US testing. The plan is for parcels to be delivered in half an hour across the UK in the near future, trumping the speed that any American household could get the same delivery in.
Setting the Standard
The hope here is that the UK can set the standard and show other nations that drone tech does not need to be feared. The trial is hoped to be used to clearly define what kind of challenges exist in terms of logistics and using drones safely. Regulations are still being formed, hence the delays from the US and other countries, which adds even more intrigue and interest to the introduction of these regulations.
One of the major testing plans here is going to be whether or not a drone is capable of flying beyond the line of sight as stated above, but also if multiple drones can be commanded safely at once. Likewise, the plan is to test if drones are going to be capable of detecting other people, objects and also to find locations whilst dodging obstacles.
In 2013, Amazon Chief Exec. Jeff Bezos claimed that regulation was going to be the major obstacle to drone-based delivery. With this newest advancement in the creation and management of laws, though, it’s hoped that this will change fairly rapidly. Constant debates and arguments in the US Senate have repeatedly held back progression, with a March 2015 hearing being a specific flashpoint.
By the time regulations on certain drone volumes were being approved, the drones themselves were already surpassed on the market. Now, these constant delays and problems have seen Amazon move their operations to Canada, the Netherlands, and Britain. British advancements such as this, though, puts them at the front of the queue for further development and a stronger relationship with Amazon moving forward.
Amazon has been in a war of words for some time now with the US, claiming to have broken through the safety issues that held back drone tech in the past. Although they plan to keep pushing for approval in the States, it’s estimated that this will take at least another couple of years to pull off accordingly.
However, for the time being, it would be logical to presume that most drone developments – at least for Amazon – is going to come from using these tests from the UK. Perhaps this could be the beginning of advanced drone mailing order services finally being permitted to come to life.