Amazon may start its drone delivery in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe much sooner than in the United States. British authorities have also authorized a series of tests that were not allowed in the US.
The drone delivery tests will be conducted in cooperation with the British civil aviation agency, according to The Verge. Amazon would like to fly drones capable of avoiding obstacles even if they are beyond the pilot's line of sight. The tests will also determine if it's feasible for a single human pilot to operate several drones at the same time.
The series of drone delivery tests are part of Amazon's Prime Air project. The American online retailer is hoping that the use of drones will make its delivery faster and cheaper. Amazon Vice President Paul Misener envision the delivery time of their products down to 30 minutes with the use of drones.
It seems Amazon has an easier time working its drone delivery tests in Europe than in its own country. Federal regulators in the United States have recently lifted the rule requiring drone operators to have a pilot license, according to The Verge. But many restrictions still remains making it difficult for Amazon to conduct the drone delivery tests in the US.
Observers also believed that Amazon is using the British drone delivery tests to prove the safety of the program to the American civil aviation agency. Commercial drone delivery will require the operation of hundreds of drones going long distances and flown by only a handful of human operators.
However, US authorities insist that drones in flight must always be in the direct sights of the operator. Multiple drones operated by a single operator are also not allowed. This is why Amazon is conducting its tests in Europe. It is also doubtful that Americans will have a drone delivery service anytime soon.