Amazon Drones: Coming Soon to Seattle?

Company seeks permission from FAA for test deliveries

Jul 11, 2014
Outside Magazine

Sit at your computer, put in your order, and have a drone deliver the goods straight to your home—Amazon hopes to make it a reality very soon.    Chris Martin/Flickr

When Amazon said it wanted to deploy drones for speedier (and cooler) deliveries, it was serious. The company has just asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for permission to test drones outdoors in Seattle, near its headquarters.

A stamp of approval from the FAA would help put Amazon on track to make delivery drones a reality as soon as possible simply because doing research and development close to home is a lot easier. Currently, the company can test its drones only indoors or in other countries.

Amazon promises it'll be careful when it takes the drones outside. Its small unmanned aircraft would undergo testing with the help of experts like "world-renowned roboticists, scientists, aeronautical engineers, remote sensing experts, and a former NASA astronaut." Plus, the company will put up safeguards like a "geofence," a virtual barrier that would deactivate any drone that passes through it. No word yet from the FAA, but if it means deliveries in less than 30 minutes, we're all for it.