Drones Scanning Seattle Backyards In Preparation For Delivery

Fact checked by The People's Voice Community

Amazon appears to be scanning Seattle backyards in preparation for it’s new drone delivery service.

According to Forbes.com [1]:

On Thursday, one observer tweeted that the online retailing giant would be scoping out his property for its Amazon Prime Air program next week.

“Amazon is coming to my house to scan my backyard for Prime Air drone delivery next week!” wrote Andru Edwards [2], a Seattle resident who heads up a tech review site, on Twitter. Edwards is also an Amazon video personality, who appears in short online films for the company [3].

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment. Edwards did not immediately respond to emails asking for comment and he deleted his tweet after FORBES contacted Amazon for comment.

While those close to the company say that Amazon Prime Air is far from being at a stage where drones can deliver packages to consumers, Edwards’ message indicates the company is laying the groundwork and doing research to move the program forward. Last month, FAA Deputy Administrator Michael Whitaker testified before congress that his agency expects to have formal regulations for commercial unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) within 12 months, and the company has said it’s determined to be ready as soon as those regulations are approved.

The article continues:  While testing drones in the U.S. has been limited, Amazon has moved abroad and opened research facilities in Cambridge, England and Tel Aviv to further its UAV research. The company is also known to be flying at outdoor sites in British Columbia, Canada [4].

It may be a while before Amazon starts testing outdoors in Seattle, though Edward’s tweet suggests that they are readying for the day it gets permission. Last year, an Amazon employee attracted the attention of police for flying his newly purchased drone around the city’s Space Needle [5].

Later this month, Gur Kimchi, head of Amazon Prime Air, will speak at a NASA convention in Mountain View, Calif. where he is expected to reveal some technical details of his company’s commercial UAV program.


[1] http://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanmac/2015/07/02/amazon-scanning-backyards-in-seattle-suggesting-drone-delivery-in-its-sights/?utm_campaign=ForbesTech&utm_source=TWITTER&utm_medium=social&utm_channel=Technology&linkId=15298308

[2] https://twitter.com/AndruEdwards

[3] http://www.amazon.com/Announcement-Amazon-Edwards-Nicola-Raechel/dp/B00RNGAC6G

[4] http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/mar/30/amazon-tests-drones-secret-site-canada-us-faa

[5] http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/07/29/drones-seattle-space-needle-faa/13322795/

Royce Christyn
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