Prime Air, Amazon’s drone delivery service, has again been hindered by regulatory hurdles leaving experts questioning the overall future of drone delivery.
In a new video obtained by CNBC, Amazon drone delivery head David Carbon confirmed that Prime Air had begun durability and reliability testing which is required for permission to fly safely over urban areas.
This test is a key federal regulatory step the company will need to overcome if it wants to unveil a fleet of flying carriers across the world. It’s just one of the many regulatory hurdles that have hindered the delivery drone company’s overall process.
In addition to regulatory hurdles, Prime Air is facing decreased demand for its drones. Both these challenges have left experts doubting the widespread future of Amazon’s drone delivery service.
“Many questions need to be answered before drone delivery becomes a widespread reality,” Nick Shay, head of travel and hospitality at digital transformation consultancy Publicis Sapient told Verdict.
“These include issues related to battery life, range, the number of drones that can work in a given area, collision avoidance, the potential for disruption to wildlife, and the ability to lift heavier orders.”
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The Federal Aviation Administration (FFA), the main regulator for approval of drone flying in the US, stated: “Whether manned or unmanned aircraft, the FAA requires that all operators follow specific guidelines for the operations they request. FAA’s number one priority remains safety.”
The FFA requires Prime Air to complete several hundred hours of flying without any incidents before allowing a large commercial rollout.
GlobalData is the parent company of Verdict and its sister publications.