It appears that Amazon is pushing forward with delivery drones. The company's intention to use octocopter drones for small deliveries was announced by CEO Jeff Bezos at the end of 2013. Prime Air, as the project is called, will potentially travel 50 mph and carry five pounds of goods to people's doors.
However, the tech giant's drone plan has run into an obstacle. Despite repeated petitions, Amazon has not been able to sway the FAA to alter the rules, and allow the company to test drones in Seattle, which is not one of the six FAA-approved drone testing sites in the nation. (In fact, an Amazon employee was caught using a drone around the Space Needle.)
That hitch in the get-along may not be slowing Amazon down. There are reports that the company could be taking drone testing out of Seattle -- and out of the U.S. entirely. BetaBeat reports: "Two sources with knowledge of the project’s development revealed that initial testing for the Prime Air drone delivery service could begin as soon as October, according to India’s The Economic Times."
India, unlike the U.S. does not have regulations regarding drone operation, the Economic Times reports. In the U.S. the commercial use of drones is banned -- with exception -- and the recreational use of drones comes with a set of restrictions.
The obvious issue is safety -- drones falling out of the sky or attempted theft. However, as Salon has pointed out before, there are also questions regarding privacy and surveillance.
We'll see if this plan comes to fruition.