Drone deliveries are becoming fairly popular, especially with the situation that has been brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. Many companies, including Amazon, had already been looking into drone delivery techniques and systems before this, and now the green light has been given.
Earlier this week, it was announced that Amazon had received permission from the Federal Aviation Administration for sending packages to their customers via drones and not regular delivery methods. The allowance has been limited to areas where fewer people live because of safety reasons.
The key restrictions have been placed on where and how Amazon will deliver the packages. Crowded spaces are not on the list just yet. Earlier, Amazon tested their delivery system on private land, and no permission was given for delivering to customers.
Now, the nod has been given to Amazon for drone deliveries by the Federal Aviation Administration. There are still concerns regarding the system, which is why the restrictions are in place. Drones not flying over buildings, cars, or people are the main condition under which permission has been given.
Despite all concerns, Amazon has claimed that its drones are very safe for use. Each of the drones used for delivery will weigh around 88 pounds, and the same is equivalent to the weight of a standard lawn mower. The concern here is that if these fell from the sky, someone could seriously get hurt.
The drones being 400 feet high up in the air increases the risk factor even more, so the restriction has been placed. The potential danger weighs more than the entire benefit that would be brought in using drones for delivery.
Experts have raised their concerns with Amazon’s plans for drone facilitated delivery, which has been mentioned in a full worded letter written to the Federal Aviation Administration. One of them writes that if Amazon is bound to deliver close to half a billion packages in a year, in the U.S. alone, then at least 10000 to 5000 of these are expected to fall out of the sky.
Guido Fuentes is another expert on the subject. He works for Prism, an advisory company for drone operators and airlines looking into obtaining certification from the Federal Aviation Administration. His opinion on the subject is, “Basically, the FAA leaves it up to the drone manufacturer and drone operator how to mitigate the risk of flying over populated areas.”
Fuentes has also mentioned that Amazon’s biggest challenge would be to convince the Federal Aviation Administration that their plans regarding drone delivery and the equipment they use are safe to be flying over cities and populated areas.
There is no news yet on how the e-commerce giant plans to address all the safety concerns. However, Amazon isn’t the only company developing a strategy to implement drone facilitated delivery. Alphabet and United Parcel Service already received their certification for drone delivery.