As we reported in February 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) preliminary regulations for the use of commercial drones were a setback for Amazon, Google and others working on drone-delivery systems. Guided remotely using GPS, robotics and other technology, the services currently don’t comply with the FAA requirements that operators or assigned observers must be able to see the drone at all times without binoculars.
Taking its regulatory lobbying efforts to the sky, Amazon has posted two-minute video trailers of its “Amazon Prime Air” product-delivery drone service in action.
Recognizing the challenges it faces with the FAA, Amazon includes a lobbying message with the trailer:
“Prime Air has great potential to enhance the services we already provide to millions of customers by providing rapid parcel delivery that will also increase the overall safety and efficiency of the transportation system. Putting Prime Air into service will take some time, but we will deploy when we have the regulatory support needed to realize our vision.”
“When we have the regulatory support …”
Amazon’s growing number of fulfillment centers makes it
a major employer in congressional districts nationwide.
Note that Amazon says “when,” not “if.” This is an early salvo in a long-term effort that will, at some point, utilize the political leverage Amazon is gaining through its growing network of Amazon fulfilment and distribution facilities. These facilities are quickly expanding into more and more congressional districts where Amazon is becoming a major employer.
(Promotional video from Amazon)
(Photo via Amazon)