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Amazon Imagines Exclusive Lane In Skies For Drones

Amazon Imagines Exclusive Lane In Skies For Drones
[Photo: Flickr user Damian]

Amazon’s plan to use drones for delivery is looking less like a publicity stunt and more like a sober business plan. During a conference at NASA’s Ames Research Center, the e-commerce company proposed setting aside a chunk of the world’s airspace exclusively for drone aircraft.

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Under Amazon’s proposal, airspace between 200 and 400 feet above the ground would be reserved for the use of small unmanned aircraft with Internet communication equipment and sensors that fly at high speeds. The region between 400 and 500 feet would be left vacant to serve as a buffer zone.

Screenshot: via Amazon

“The way we guarantee the greatest safety is by requiring that as the level of complexity of the airspace increases, so does the level of sophistication of the vehicle,” Prime Air VP Gur Kimchi said at the conference, according to The Guardian. “Under our proposal everybody has to be collaborative–vehicles must be able to talk to each other and avoid each other as the airspace gets denser at low altitudes.”

Amazon has published two position papers outlining its proposal.

The NASA conference, called the NASA UTM Convention, is intended to brainstorm ways to implement unmanned aircraft into America’s civilian airspace.

[via The Guardian]

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