Drones Could be Delivering Parcels by 2019
Yes, you read that headline correctly. Amazon will be able to deliver parcels in a programme known as Prime Air by next year.
It’s as a result of an announcement by the National Air Traffic Control Service (NATS), which has given permission for drones to be able to fly outside their operators line of sight. This is a mammoth development as previously, drones needed to be within sight of human operators, which was a big barrier to companies like Amazon carrying out deliveries using drones.
Don’t get too terrified yet though, new technology now allows unmanned devices to be tracked at a low altitude. This ingenious piece of technology was developed by Altitude Angel, the Reading-based aviation technology company and allows drones to safely share Britain’s airspace with conventional aircraft.
The head of drones at NATS, Andy Sage, has said that:
“This is about being able to transmit a drone’s location or intended flight to allow it to be seen. It would be a critical component in moving away from line of sight operations to begin operating beyond the line of sight.”
But one of the most exciting developments is the fact that e-Commerce giant Amazon will be able to make deliveries to customers by drones.
The company has already been testing customer drone deliveries in the UK since 2016, making its first ever Amazon Prime package by air in Cambridgeshire in just 13 minutes.
Unfortunately, there are still a few issues to overcome before you make an order of clothes at 5pm and they arrive in time for your dinner at 6pm. For instance, in central London, there are no-fly rules which prevent drones within 150 metres of densely packed buildings. There are concerns about children or animals being injured by packages dropped by the drones. As a result, Amazon has also been testing counter-measures such as a warning siren to shoo away any curious children.
All we can say is, watch this space!