Amazon is Begging to Push Drone Tests Beyond Regulations

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Amazon has started begging the Federal Aviation Administration to let it start testing drones in its own backyard, according to a letter that was made public Thursday.

The request explains that Amazon wants to test drones outside of the testing sites designated by the FAA. There are six FAA-approved sites scattered throughout the US for testing drones like those to be used by Amazon, but Bezos & Co. claims it could innovate more quickly if it could test closer to home.

Amazon's plee includes some new details about how well the project is going. Its drones, it claims, can now travel at over 50 mph while carrying a 2.25kg package, and it's now developing systems—with a team made up of roboticists, scientists, aeronautical engineers, remote-sensing experts, and a former NASA astronaut—to improve agility, flight duration, and obstacle avoidance, too.

In fact, Amazon is on its ninth drone iteration. For what seemed, and perhaps is, a rather large marketing stunt, it's sure taking it seriously. Whether the FAA will listen to all that, though, remains to be seen. [FAA via CNET]

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