Amazon delivery drones to land in the UK
27 July 2016 |
Amazon is set to launch its drone delivery service in the UK following their successful use in America.
The retailer is currently in the process of testing the safety of delivery drones in the UK, with the intention of rolling out the concept there.
These tests are being conducted in association with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the government to ensure they abide by safety regulations.
Amazon is also working with these bodies to improve and develop safety regulations for drone technology ahead of the delivery drones’ launch.
Current regulations mean that drone controllers cannot lose a line of sight from their drone in densely populated areas.
Therefore Amazon is working to change this to allow its drones to be operated out of a line of sight.
The company is also testing drone sensor technology which will allow them to detect obstacles and avoid them, as the machines, which will carry weights of up to 2.5kg, are likely to be restricted to flying in high-population-density areas initially.
There is also potential to see a national registry of drone owners introduced in the UK, after it was set up in the USA last December.
The government is also considering introducing ‘virtual walls’ which will stop drones from flying in certain restricted zones in the UK through geo-fencing technology.
This technology is already installed in some drones, but this development would mean all drones flown for leisure purposes would have to comply.
Amazon’s vice president of global innovation policy and communications, Paul Misener, said: “The UK is a leader in enabling drone innovation. We’ve been investing in Prime Air research and development here for quite some time.
“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.
“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.”
“The UK is charting a path forward for drone technology that will benefit consumers, industry and society.”
Tim Johnson, the CAA’s policy director, said: “We want to enable the innovation that arises from the development of drone technology by safely integrating drones into the overall aviation system. These tests by Amazon will help inform our policy and future approach.”
Photo from Amazon