The e-commerce giant Amazon and the search giant Google both want to fill the sky with autonomous drones. Drones that can deliver medicine and goods within 30 minutes, according to Amazon's drone program Prime Air.
During the Consumer Electronics Show i Las Vegas both Google and Amazon discussed the rules and regulations of autonomous flying vehicles.
Both Internet companies want to take to the sky with their drone initiatives. Their approach for getting their within the legal framework is however different.
A final legal framework for drones in the US will most likely not be completed before 2019. Both companies agree on that the rules should not cover technical implementations, as this could limit the speed of innovation. In other areas their ideas are different.
Amazon Want Individual Smart Drones
TechCrunch reports that Google supports a centralised control system. The search company basically want an automated version of the current air traffic control system.
Amazon however is looking at ways for the drones to be more independent and more collaborative when it comes to sense-and-avoid. Less of a centralised command-and-control structure compared to Google's suggestion.
Amazon who recently showed of their latest packages delivery drone, that now looks more like a small plane, want to rely heavily on in-flight sense-and-avoid technology. Something Google thinks will not be enough when the sky is filled with different flying contraptions.
The US Federal Aviation Administration is right now carving out an airspace between 200 and 500 feet to accommodate these drones of the future. The rules that will apply to those aircraft and their airspace is now being written together with companies like Google and Amazon.