Amazon permitted to test delivery drones


Set up the nets, boys! We gonna catch us some hardware!


I was surprised by the mention of allowing flights under 400 feet, which would be problematic over (other people’s) private property, but it turns out it’s only over their own private property, in a rural area no less. So we’re pretty far from them being able to meaningfully test anything, much less actually do any deliveries.

Great just what I need, another dildo stuck in a tree.


Yeah, but what they want–and will need to do the job effectively–is permission to fly over private homes. This makes me very unhappy as I feel the permissible bottom altitude for nonfixed wing aircraft is already too low.

And is the FAA seriously buying Amazon’s argument that in order to remain economically competitive in the global marketplace drones must be used to deliver goods? What type of drone can deliver a box full of books and CDs? If time was my enemy I’d either drive to a brick and mortar OR I’d read e-books and download music, both of which are faster than any possible drone delivery.

Flying less than 400 feet over private property (i.e. in private airspace) seems like a non-starter to me. What seems more likely to me is permitting flying (perhaps under 400 feet) only over public land (i.e. conforming to roads), which means longer flights by more maneuverable drones.
Going to a brick and mortar presumes they still exist - locally, Amazon has pretty well eliminated book and music stores, for example. Existing stores also don’t have the same inventory they used to have before Amazon, either. I went to a hobby shop for the first time in several decades recently, only to find they had fraction of the inventory they used to stock. They no longer carried low sales volume items, especially those that had low profit margins - they let the internet businesses sell those. I’m skeptical of Amazon’s whole plan though - if nothing else, it requires a hell of a lot of outposts with a variety of inventory, and delivery in urban areas (to, say, apartment buildings, for instance) is going to be problematic.

A moderately big one.

That assumes you deal only with books and CDs.

In the world of electronics you often need a chip or other part that cannot be Just Downloaded. And the time can be of essence. If Amazon blazes the trail for Digikey/Mouser/whoever else, more power to them.

Oh, joy. I look forward to the noise, lack of privacy, and the potential damage such a big drone can do.

Why is a drone delivery service more effective than an overnight delivery service? I can’t imagine that what you order would possibly arrive faster using a drone vs. today’s current options. I’m not against technological advances, but I just don’t see this option being any more cost effective for consumers nor making the United States more competitive in the global economy.

Like I hear the opposition to cars when they were new. You’ll be surprised how fast you’ll get used to it.

Pretty much a crow-flight trajectory from the warehouse to the customer. At say 100 km/hour, delivery time can count in minutes within a city. That beats even a delivery biker on crystal meth in no traffic. Cf. the usual constipated (aka don’t-give-an-excrement) UPS guy in the usual city traffic jams.

I can. Very vividly. See above.

Who cares about the dying US? I want it in central Europe and I want it now!

Yes, I’d be quite surprised because I’ve been living in SoCal for 25 years and I’m sorry to tell you that I’ve yet to get used to traffic noise, not to mention the city PD and county sheriff’s helicopters that fly around day and night. So you can imagine how much the high pitch of a drone might not be a welcomed for many people.

Most of the United States is nothing like New York City nor the densely populated areas of Europe. So “delivery bikers crystal meth” isn’t even an option. However, you’re assuming that retailers will fulfill your order at a breakneck pace, when, in my frenzied-filled online shopping experience, it takes most retailers over 24 hours to process your order and package it before shipping. (Shout out to Zappos–I get my shoes within 48 hours with free shipping both ways.) Thus, my assumption is that the little gadget that you must have in 20 minutes will and up being so prohibitively expensive that it won’t be worth the cost to the majority of people.

Also, you haven’t addressed the invasion of privacy due to a “crow-flight” trajectory of the drone nor the risk and liability to the unaffected parties. But wait! I see a whole new niche in the insurance industry developing in which auto and home policies will contain additional riders to prepare for just such emergencies.

Look. My point is that until privacy and safety concerns can be adequately addressed, it DOA in the US. No homeowner (and I’m not one) will be happy with drones crisscrossing 400 feet over their property. And you should care. Americans buy a lot of crap, which helps drive other nations’ economies.

I adapted rather well to the din of the city. What I did not adapt to were the jackhammers at nearby construction work, but that shall pass.

Way easier to attenuate than the penetrating low-frequency rumble. Just close the windows.

Which means that a quadcopter-style drone is less suitable than an Osprey-style kind with movable rotors and wings. That’s about it.

Because they don’t have to do it faster because the rest of the shipping chain would kill that time advantage anyway. This is bog-standard logistics. Alleviated by a degree of warehouse automation.

That will get resolved over time. Such trouble did not stop cars, did not stop cameraphones, did not stop other developments. The desire to roll out is here, the demand as well.

Why not? Probability it lands on your head, zero enough. If it crashes on the land, voila - free brushless outrunners!

That used to be true, now is gradually shifting as the world economy is realigning. And there’s not much to respect on the geopolitical accidents called nation-states anyway.

The goal of Hamburg’s project is to replace roads with a “gruenes netz” or a green network of interconnected open areas covering 40% of the city. According to the official website, parks, playgrounds, sports fields, allotments and cemeteries will be connected to form a network, which will allow people to navigate through the city without the use of cars.

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