On Thursday, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) published a patent application to utilize drones for consumer deliveries.
Amazon described in their patent the use of “multi-level fulfillment centers for unmanned aerial vehicles” in the “outskirts of cities where space is available” to store the drones. However, these centers could also be built in densely populated areas as vertically structured high-rises, which would eliminate interaction with pedestrians.
According to Bloomberg, the Federal Aviation Administration has directed the Department of Transportation to create a carrier certificate allowing for package delivery via drones. It is one of several provisions in a bill passed to promote the approval and regulation of the technology.
The FAA legislation will help Amazon, and other companies looking to develop drones of their own, overcome one obstacle for package delivery, while several remain. Current regulations still prohibit most drone flights over people. However, the Commercial Drone Alliance is "pleased that provisions intended to expand commercial drone operations have been included."
While Amazon and other companies are still only in the application phase, the FAA legislation brings the U.S. one step closer to the use of drones for consumer efficiency.