Amazon gets backing from UAS association

Amazon Prime Air

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) has given its backing to Amazon’s application for permission to test its Prime Air drone delivery service.

In a letter Tuesday (download PDF), AUVSI president and CEO Michael Toscano urged the U.S. Department of Transportation to grant Amazon an exemption that would allow the online giant to conduct immediate outdoor tests of its commercial drones.

AUVSI points out that allowing Amazon to test will help spur job growth in an industry that promises to employ tens of thousands, at the very least.

The report also contains some interesting details regarding Amazon’s efforts:

According to Amazon, it is currently testing a range of capabilities including agility, flight duration and sense-and-avoid sensors on its eighth and ninth-generation aerial vehicles. All of the tests are being carried out in indoor facilities or at overseas locations and involve battery-driven, rotor-powered, unmanned aerial vehicles weighing less than 55 pounds.

As we have previously noted, it is unfortunate that Amazon is currently being forced to conduct its outdoor tests overseas. We should be developing this knowledge base here, in the U.S.