Amazon shut out of FAA testing autonomous drone deployment

Amazon shut out of FAA testing autonomous drone deployment
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Amazon's bid to test autonomous drones for delivery lost out to other companies when the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) announced on Wednesday that it has granted permission to 10 regions in the United States to begin tests, paving the way for such technology to be integrated into U.S. airspace.

“While it’s unfortunate the applications we were involved with were not selected, we support the administration’s efforts to create a pilot program aimed at keeping America at the forefront of aviation and drone innovation,” vice president of Amazon Public Policy Brian Huseman told Quartz in a statement.

The FAA in a tweet congratulated "10 state, local and tribal governments who will conduct flight tests as part of the #DronePilot program to advance safe #drone integration in our nation's airspace."

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The list of locations approved for drone testing includes a diverse set of locations including Alaska, California, Florida and Oklahoma.

Those locations are paired with private companies for drone testing. Companies that will work with various state governments include Google's parent company Alphabet, Project Wing, Flytrex, Zipline, Matternet and Flirtey, according to Marketwatch.

Absent from the list is Amazon. The company has long sought for the FAA to change its rules around drones so that it can test package delivery by drone.

“At Amazon Prime Air, we’re focused on developing a safe operating model for drones in the airspace, and we will continue our work to make this a reality," Huseman said.