Amazon finally got the federal greenlight Thursday to send its drones into the skies — but only as a test.
The Federal Aviation Administration announced that it has granted Amazon Logistics, a subsidiary of the Internet retail giant, approval for a drone design that the company plans to use for research, development and training.
The approval comes with restrictions similar to those the agency has already imposed on drones’ use by Hollywood studios: Amazon’s drones must stay below 400 feet and can fly only during daylight hours, with the pilot maintaining a visual line-of-sight. Drone operators must have at least a private pilot’s license.
Those limits are probably much tougher than what the company would want when it eventually seeks to use drones to deliver packages around the country — a concept that generated much hype after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos unveiled it on “60 Minutes” in 2013.
I love technology and I love Amazon, but I have to admit that these mini drones freak me out a little.
First, it seems like a logistical nightmare to get these things humming around large cities where Amazon does a lot of deliveries.
Second, there seem to be a creepy downside or two, especially when it comes to surveillance. I am not exactly sure who will make it creepy, I am just convinced that someone eventually will.
You’ll remember I said that when one of these is hovering outside your bathroom window twenty years from now.