Regulations Force Amazon To Take New Technology To Europe

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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Amazon announced Tuesday it established a partnership with the U.K. government, not the U.S., to test some of the business’ drone delivery technology.

The U.S. was not chosen presumably because the regulations in place are too onerous. The Federal Aviation Administration concocted a last-minute set of regulations prior to 2015’s gift-giving holiday season, which was set to see a large influx of drone purchases.

The FAA tried to address concerns that officials were not allowing entrepreneurship by releasing new rules for the commercial use of drones. The guidelines do not allow unmanned aircraft to be operated beyond the visual line of sight, which essentially defeats the purpose of the drone delivery technology that Amazon is trying to develop and finalize.

The FAA stated it will “work with relevant Federal agencies and national and international communities to designate permanent areas in the Arctic where small unmanned aircraft may operate 24 hours per day for research and commercial purposes.”

Amazon has already chosen the U.K. and it may be too late for the U.S. to get involved in this inevitable business application.

The electric commerce and cloud computing company has been developing an unmanned aerial delivery service called Prime Air. Now they plan to experiment with the technological capabilities that could allow this once futuristic pipedream to materialize.

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, has confirmed in the past that they have also been working with Canada, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

The agreement between the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Amazon means that the supply-chain corporation can explore beyond-line-of-sight drone operations outside of cities — something that is explicitly forbidden in America. Amazon is also allowed to have an individual operate multiple drones at once in order to perfect sense and avoid functionality, a critical component for safe aerial performance.

The CAA is expected to be included in the testing to oversee the process and ensure that everything goes smoothly.

“The UK is a leader in enabling drone innovation–we’ve been investing in Prime Air research and development here for quite some time,” Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president of global innovation policy and communications, said in the company’s statement.

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