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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Amazon Planning to Deliver Packages Using Drones

The BBC reports:

Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, is testing unmanned drones to deliver goods to customers, according to Chief Executive Jeff Bezos. 
The drones, called Octocopters, could deliver packages weighing up to 2.3kg to customers within 30 minutes of them placing the order, he said.
The Washington Post reports on the story as well, with legal commentary from Professor Ryan Calo from the University of Washington:

"By 2015, the FAA has to come up with a set of rules that integrates just the kind of thing that Amazon is talking about" into the national airspace, Calo said. 
Amazon will have to convince federal regulators that the technology is safe and that it wouldn't lead to excessive congestion. "If what Amazon proposes doesn't feel safe, the FAA could get worried about the prospect of these things falling out of the sky," Calo said. In his "60 Minutes" interview, Bezos said that the prototype octocopter has redundant motors so it can stay in the air even if one fails.
And at Forbes, Greg McNeal offers further discussion of the FAA's plan for future regulation of drones and the legal hurdles that Amazon's program would need to clear.

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