Monday, July 21, 2014

Opinion: Amazon Delivery in 30 Minutes or Fewer

Imagine the sound of tiny choppers filling the sky as the fleet of Amazon drones descend on the ASP campus as the orders of students are about to be fulfilled. Room 12 is over run by students racing for their packages. The ease of getting your package 30 minutes after you order it. 

In this great era of technological advancement, Amazon is striving to innovate an outdated delivery system. The project would create jobs and help the economy. The Federal Aviation Agency, however, has not allowed Amazon to use airspace to continue to test the project.

The FAA should not be so hesitant, the number of people that could be employed to monitor the drones and to sort out what items people need would greatly improve the economy. Once these drones have been assimilated into society for commercial reasons, they could be used for some many other things to help make life simpler and decrease the emissions from delivery vehicles.

“One day, Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today.” This is Amazon’s response to questions about their new drones that will deliver peoples’ orders within 30 minutes of placement. Many people have speculations about the factuality of this idea, but Amazon is on their 9th model of the drone and predict that they could be ready as soon as 2015. There is only one problem, the Federal Aviation Agency has not approved commercial unmanned air crafts to be flown in American airspace.

Paul Misener, Amazon VP of global public policy, wrote a letter on behalf of Amazon detailing the company's needs and assuring the FAA that safety was a priority. Currently Amazon has been working and testing in Seattle, Washington and outside the U.S. The testing in Seattle has only taken place inside, whereas outside of the U.S. the testing has been able to be outdoors. The letter requests that the FAA allow Amazon begin testing their drones on private, outdoor property.

Amazon has taken every precaution to show the FAA that should be allowed airspace. The current restrictions could stifle the amount of changes that could be made to the drones. Amazon would need to get each drone prototype airworthy certified by the FAA. Usually aircrafts with this certification have already been through substantial testing, but Amazon would like to continually be able to change and modify their drones without having to get new certificates. Once they have finished with the testing there will be drones delivering worldwide.

A major area of concern is that there will be a frenzy in the sky with all of these drones flying around. Amazon has set up an observer and operator that will both be monitoring the drone. The operator will have to be certified as a pilot. The observer will have a “kill-switch” that will initiate an immediate, safe ground landing if they believe the situation calls for it. Because there will be some many drones being tested jobs will be created in these fields. However, Amazon has made it clear that if they are not able to work in the U.S. they will move to other counties and open up jobs to the people there.

Many people are worried that once drones are used to deliver packages they will be used to spy on citizens. Why would Amamzon need to spy on people, is my question? The company already knows the tpyes of things that people buy because they store all of our data. Amazon would be spending unnecessary money, and could potentially end up in huge lawsuits. There should be no one standing in the way of a future that is wanted by so many and that could bring so much potential for the future of this country.

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