The January 2014 issue of Popular Science has an article that says the FAA issued a draft rule (not yet an approved rule) that may allow use of both commercial and non-commercial drones weighting under 55 pounds as long as they remain in the line of sight of the pilot and stay under 400 feet.
That still eliminates Amazon due to the automation of their concept. They cannot meet the line of sight hurdle.
55 pounds is still pretty heavy, especially if it falls on your head from a couple hundred feet in the air.
I don't think anyone really believes that Amazon can make the drone delivery work. It was a nifty project and a publicity stunt.
Perhaps It was a nifty project and a publicity stunt, but behind it there is always the real agenda they are trying to push.
Even if they launched the project, it would get shut down the first time they injured someone's kid or the family dog. It is hopelessly unrealistic to think that an automated unmanned drone system can work with home or business delivery. I could see it working with a rooftop delivery system ferrying small deliveries between two businesses, but there are just too many variables (kids, dogs, trees, powerlines, telephone lines, cars, birds, homes, windows, shotguns, etc.) for any type of residential delivery.
I was reading this article, and it seems like they are working on a commercial drone. So perhaps all posts above were pretty accurate ;)
Politicians, companies see green as FAA approves drone test sitesPoliticians, companies see green as FAA approves drone test sites | Fox NewsQuote:
On the other side are drone developers and lawmakers whose states stand to benefit from a new sector in the economy. The type of drones at issue here are not the Predator and other armed drones that launch lethal strikes on suspected terrorists abroad. Rather, the FAA authorized the six test sites to research how commercial drones can eventually be introduced into U.S. airspace.
Think Amazon, and its ambitious goal of one day employing drones to deliver packages.
The FAA does not currently allow commercial use of drones, but it is working to develop operational guidelines by the end of 2015, although officials concede the project may take longer than expected.
Testing on the six drone sites could start soon, and is slated to continue at least until February 2017.
Officials say that these research sites, as well as the expansion of a commercial drone industry, could bring an economic windfall.
In Nevada, officials predicted thousands of jobs, as well as $2.5 billion in economic impact -- and $125 million in state and local tax revenue. A 28-member team competed for the bid, including the Nevada National Guard and a company called Drone America.
Alaska, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia were also selected as testing sites.
Interesting isn't it?