Do you remember those Amazon drones, the ones the company thinks will be delivering your packages? Those are a real thing, and Amazon is trying to make a go of it. They’ve sent a letter to the FAA asking to test the drones on longer flights. Their goal is innovation, as they say they need to let the little guys stretch their proverbial wings.
Vice President of Global Public Policy Paul Misener tells CNET “We want to do more R&D close to home”, and note their drones can now fly faster than 50mph. Amazon’s drones also carry up to five-pound parcels, making them ideal for short-burst deliveries from a deployment zone. Amazon is also reportedly testing other makes and models of the drone, specialized for things like agility and longevity in flight.
Amazon has a private research filed in Seattle, where they say a team of scientists and engineers are playing this out. The company is already on their ninth generation of drone. Their letter requesting more air space also suggests they know how weird it all is, saying “One day, seeing Amazon Prime Air will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today, resulting in enormous benefits for consumers across the nation”.
Originally a sub-feature in an interview CEO Jeff Bezos gave to 60 minutes, the drone program is much more than a stunt. The FAA has yet to solidify their stance on drones, and videos of drones flying through fireworks seem to have complicated matters further. There is no word on when — or if - the FAA will entertain Amazon’s request.