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Amazon Prime drone delivery service: Jeff Bezos' plan is full of hot air.


Stashed in: Jeff Bezos, Drones!, Amazon, History of Tech!

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In an infomercial hosted by Charlie Rose on CBS's 60 Minutes this weekend, Amazon announced that it plans to deliver small packages via drone in the near future. Many media outlets have credulously repeated this claim, just like they did with the beer-delivering drone and the taco-delivering drone.

However, the technical, regulatory, and logistical challenges of autonomous flight in crowded American urban airspace are far more profound than Bezos allowed on TV. As he said, the FAA is now revising its rules regarding autonomous flight. The FAA roadmap is complex. But it bluntly states (on page 33): “Autonomous operations are not permitted.” There is an exception for line-of-sight operations for small UAVs. But Bezos’s vision of autonomous delivery in a city is not, according to the FAA roadmap, in the cards in the next few years.

Darn!

So there will be no Uber for drones?

This was all one big publicity stunt for Cyber Monday, wasn't it?

60 Minutes, you been played!

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