The long-awaited drone delivery project by Amazon is moving forward. The company plans to launch its first drone delivery service in the town of Lockeford, California, later this year after receiving approval from the FAA.
It will be a major milestone for Amazon if the regulatory approval goes through. There have been a number of crashes and reports of alleged safety issues for the company. Today's announcement shows that Amazon is ready for prime time.
Lockeford residents will be the first in the country to receive Prime delivery packages via drones. Amazon doesn't specify what types of items can be ordered, but thousands of them will be eligible for drone delivery. Most drones can't carry more than a few pounds of cargo, so there will be some sort of weight restriction.
Amazon says that later this year, Lockeford residents will be the first to receive Prime delivery packages delivered to their backyards via drone
Amazon is working to improve obstacle avoidance on the ground and in the air. Beyond the visual line of sight is a technical term that describes the operation of drones at distances outside the normal range of the pilot.
Companies that fly commercial aircraft must be certified by the FAA. The certification allows companies to operate a commercial drone delivery service. Amazon's drones have been approved to operate, but they are still waiting for their commercial operation certification. Part 135 certification has been given to Wing, a division ofAlphabet.
The FAA doesn't comment on pending certification projects or discussions with companies.
Jeff Bezos was the first to announce 30-minute drones. The company promised a redesign of its Prime Air delivery drone that would allow it to fly vertically and launch drones later in the year.
There have been five crashes in the last four months at the company's testing site in Oregon. Workers who raised safety concerns were being fired, according to some former employees. Safety was a priority for Amazon.
With companies like Amazon and Wing promising to set up large-scale operations in the near future, drones were supposed to change the way goods are moved around the city. Small-scale experiments have been the focus of the technology. In the US, drone delivery has been limited to smaller towns.