Amazon given green light for U.S. drone tests, inches toward 'Prime Air' delivery

This is a discussion on Amazon given green light for U.S. drone tests, inches toward 'Prime Air' delivery within the Off-Topic forums, part of the Apple Forums category; The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday granted Amazon permission to conduct experimental unmanned aircraft operations in U.S. airspace, marking a significant step forward in the ...

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    Amazon given green light for U.S. drone tests, inches toward 'Prime Air' delivery



    The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday granted Amazon permission to conduct experimental unmanned aircraft operations in U.S. airspace, marking a significant step forward in the company's plans to roll out a drone delivery service.

    Called an "experimental airworthiness certificate," Amazon's freshly inked permit will let it fly unmanned aircraft systems outside for research and development purposes. Experimental certificates are usually provided to manufacturers and technology developers that do not have a so-called type certificates, the FAA said.

    Stipulations apply a hefty number of restrictions on Amazon's R&D department, including a hard ceiling of 400 feet, flight only during daylight hours and line-of-sight operation. In addition, each pilot must have a pilot's certificate and medical certification, while the company has to issue monthly reports to the FAA.

    The rules are similar to those proposed by the FAA in February, which look to set boundaries on private drone use. If Amazon is to get its project off the ground, it would need a relaxation of these limitations or special consideration from the governmental body.

    Dubbed "Prime Air," Amazon's concept was first unveiled in a 2013 video that demonstrated how unmanned drones could one day be used to deliver packages directly from Amazon's warehouses to customers' doorsteps. Interestingly, the short film was shot outside the U.S. due to strict FAA regulations.

    As Amazon works through early stage UAS research, it continues to take strides in making the online shopping experience more appealing for end users. Earlier today, the Internet retail giant expanded one-hour delivery services to Prime members living in Baltimore and Miami.





    3-20-15

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    Amazon teases new details of planned Prime Air drone delivery service




    Online retailer Amazon has released a new two-minute video hinting at more of its plans for Prime Air, a drone-based shipping service which if legalized by the U.S. government would allow deliveries in 30 minutes or less.

    Hosted by ex-Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson, who is set to star in new Amazon programming, the video showcases a drone design which does vertical takeoffs and descents but switches into airplane-style flight mid-transit, with a range of 15 miles. Earlier prototypes used a design more similar to conventional drones, without wings or a tail.

    The company is said to be working on "different designs for different environments."

    Sensors allow the new drone to avoid air- and land-based obstacles. To help narrow down a landing zone, the video shows a shopper placing a small Amazon sign in the middle of her yard as a beacon.

    Future shoppers would receive mobile notifications of imminent deliveries. They might also be prompted to authorize landings, or tell drones to wait a minute to make sure the landing area is clear.

    Prime Air remains theoretical for the time being, since the company is waiting on commercial drone regulations from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, which could be ready within the next year. The video may indeed partly be an attempt to bring politicians and the public on-side with the idea.








    11-30-15

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