Amazon and the British government are collaborating to test aerial drone parcel delivery technology.
The Civil Aviation Authority, which is the U.K.’s aviation safety regulator, will supervise a Prime Air trial in which drones are tested out of sight from their operates. The test run will also measure the drones’ abilities to identify and avoid obstacles, as well as determine whether operators can fly multiple drones simultaneously.
“The UK is a leader in enabling drone innovation—we’ve been investing in Prime Air research and development here for quite some time,” said Paul Misener, Amazon’s Vice President of Global Innovation Policy and Communications. “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.”
This work will help Amazon and the government understand how drones can be used safely and reliably in the logistics industry. It will also help identify what operating rules and safety regulations will be needed to help move the drone industry forward.
“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,” added Misener. “The UK is charting a path forward for drone technology that will benefit consumers, industry and society.”
The outcomes of these tests will help inform the development of future policy and regulation in this area, according to the CAA.
“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.”