Amazon is dreaming of a world where its drones deliver products, and the FAA is publicly cringing at the prospect. The FAA did get around to granting Amazon an element of permission for testing its drones, but it was a matter of too little too late. Amazon isn’t waiting for the FAA to speed things up, and has instead simply crossed the border into Canada, where it is testing its delivery drones without the harsh restrictions imposed by the US government.
The Guardian reports that Amazon is now working in British Columbia on its Prime Delivery Drones, where a variety of software engineers, roboticists, aeronautics experts, and more compose the team. The exact location of the testing site is being kept a close secret, and it follows the snail-slow approach to drone technology that US government is taking.
The area where Amazon is testing is said to be “lined by oak trees and firs”, and that the testing is being done with the Canadian government’s “full blessing”. Even more cutting is how closely Amazon has positioned its site to the US border: it is “barely 2000ft” from the US soil, so close that one can stand in the test site and see the border in the distance.
The Internet retailer is said to have been using the site for a few months now, making good on its promise that it won’t be cutting short its innovation because the US is dragging its feet. If the US does become more open to such technology, it isn’t clear whether Amazon will move its activities to Washington State where it originally planned to operate.
SOURCE: The Guardian