Amazon has collaborated with the UK Government to test the delivery of consignments by small drones.
Approved by a cross-government team supported by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the trial will mainly explore three new areas.
These comprise beyond line-of-sight operations in rural and suburban areas, testing sensor performance to ensure that the drones can identify and avoid obstacles, and flights in which one person operates multiple highly automated drones.
With the trial, CAA will aim to explore the potential for safe use of drones beyond line-of-sight and plans to use the results of the tests to develop future policy and regulation in this area.
CAA policy director Tim Johnson said: “We want to enable the innovation that arises from the development of drone technology by safely integrating drones into the overall aviation system.
“These tests by Amazon will help inform our policy and future approach.”
Amazon is currently developing the Prime Air delivery system, which is designed to deliver packages up to 5lb to customers in 30min or less using small drones.
Amazon global innovation policy and communications vice-president Paul Misener said: “The UK is a leader in enabling drone innovation, we’ve been investing in Prime Air research and development here for quite some time.
“This announcement strengthens our partnership with the UK and brings Amazon closer to our goal of using drones to safely deliver parcels in 30min to customers in the UK and elsewhere around the world.”
The company further noted that drone delivery system would improve customer experience, create new jobs as well as pioneer new sustainable delivery means to meet future demand.