It’s no secret that Amazon is betting on drones as the future of its delivery service. They’re independently operated, fast, and don’t have to stop for red lights.
However, details have been fuzzy. Today, however, Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, confirmed at a Washington Post town hall that the Amazon delivery drones are testing abroad, and where.
Amazon Prime Air, the official name for the service, is testing their drones not in necessarily remote areas, but in Canada, United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.
However, Amazon is also building and developing its drones in the United States, and Israel, according to the service’s website. The United States in particular is where the bulk of Amazon’s customer base and revenue is located, so the company would be remiss not to attempt domestic drone service, despite the current strict and thorny regulations governing commmerical drones in the U.S.
This comes on the heels of another Amazon executive’s interview with Yahoo, where they said for these drones to be ready, they need to be able to deliver packages in 30 minutes or less, travel 10 miles, and deliver packages that weigh up to 5 pounds.
We don’t know when the drones will be available for a larger customer base, but Amazon says they still need to work past technical and legal barriers before integrating these drones into the service in a meaningful way.
Currently, operators of drones for commercial purposes must be a licensed pilot and must apply for a Section 333 exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration in order to conduct operations. It’s unclear for now if and how many exemptions Amazon’s drone delivery plan would seek in the U.S.
This article has been updated with new information from Washington Post reporter Brian Fung, who said that Bezos actually said “the Dutch” instead of Denmark.