Amazon and Google have both demonstrated their ambitions to develop drones that are capable of autonomously delivering packages but they have not been able to test them in the United States as the Federal Aviation Administration does not allow drones in the country to operate without a human pilot or beyond the pilot’s line of sight. Things are looking up now as Google has been given permission to test its delivery drones in the U.S.
The FAA’s restrictions are a major reason why most of the work that U.S. companies have done on autonomous delivery drones has been outside the country.
The White House is now working for the advancement of the drone industry and that has enabled Google to test its drones in the U.S. It will be allowed to conduct those tests at one of six FAA-approved test sites.
Data that is gathered in these tests will be shared with government partners to help regulators answer important safety and human factors questions about autonomous delivery operations, says the White House in a press release.
As part of this arrangement Google will be developing an open-interface, airspace management solution for safe low-altitude small UAS operations with existing low cost, scalable technologies.
All of this will be critical in ensuring safe integration of drones in the layer of airspace under 400 feet.