Amazons underperformance on its drone program

By: Joseph Nelson

It’s been almost ten years since Jeff Bezos announced Amazon’s drone delivery program, but we still haven’t seen any sign of commercial delivery to homes. In fact, Amazon has only made 10 successful deliveries between the two states of Texas and California. Now, why is that number so low and where are our drones?

Now, Amazon isn’t trying to at all hide their underperformance as Amazon spokesperson Maria Boschetti doesn’t deny any of the numbers brought to her in an email from The Verge. But those numbers aren’t completely Amazon’s fault as there is a bigger factor in play than just Amazon, it’s also the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) stating to Amazon that the pilots cannot fly over roads without a pilot or a third party present. That means that the unmanned drones need to be supervised if the drone were to go over any type of road which brings a bigger challenge to the future of drone delivery.

But, this all seems odd right? I mean, we are again almost ten years from the first announcement of the program and now we are still trying to cross the street? The very future of air delivery is being held up by the laws of the roads.

It feels as though the battle between the FAA and Amazon is going at a snail’s pace. In fact, Amazon just last November, got the green light to fly its drones outside of sparsely populated areas. The drones couldn’t fly within one-hundred feet of buildings, and the requirement of drone pilots being required to have a piloting license to fly a plane, just so they can fly a drone, has completely hindered Amazon’s pilot count. Which hurts a lot when you need more than six pilots to fly just one drone.

But these training wheels the FAA put on Amazon might not be completely a bad thing, as of February 1st, there have been five drone crashes on Amazon testing sites. One of these crashes caused a twenty-five acre forest fire on the site.

But Amazon isn’t backing down from the fight whatsoever, they are pushing the FAA every day to get their drones up in the sky and deliver packages to your doorstep. As of the start of February, the FAA had approved more flight areas in Texas and California.

So, as to answer the question on where are our drones? Well, they are being held up by air laws but I still believe that we should see them in the coming years.

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