Amazon is requesting Congress to review the FAA’s policy on automated drone flights to establish a set of clear-cut regulations. The regulations will allow the ecommerce giant to use its drone delivery service, known as Prime Air, to deliver goods to people across the nation.
The company is among several others pressuring US lawmakers to loosen up guidelines for drone flights, which the FAA implemented in the first place. These rules currently prevent Amazon from entering the lucrative market of speedy delivery via drone. The company promises to deliver items within 30 minutes to customers across the nation if the program is ever launched.
Leading the battle for looser drone regulation is Paul Misener, the head of Amazon’s public policy team. He will be speaking in front of the US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Misener will argue that the “sense and avoid” technology used in their drones does not present any safety concerns. The system has been designed to allow drones to detect any objects in their vicinity and maneuver around them to avoid collision.
With the sense and avoid technology, drones do not have to be operated by humans at all, which will require less human resource on the company’s behalf. Misener claims that restricting the service will only hinder development and innovation over time. It won’t be surprising to see the company bring out its big guns as it has done before, by threatening the government to move its drone research operations to Canada since it wasn’t previously allowed to test them in the US. However, Amazon didn’t have to follow through with its threat because the US allowed it to continue research here.
A lot of pro-drone entities are keeping a close eye on these developments, hoping for the best results. As Misener claims, using drones will be safer for people because there will be less traffic on the streets and fewer delivery vans. This will also decrease the amount of pollution because fewer cars will be used. In the bigger picture, approval of this service could mean that we no longer would have to leave our home or office to grab a thing or two from the store.