Originally Posted by felon
why not? the military uses gps guided uavs for days at a time..capable of landing on their own
an express service for metropolitan areas for light items..it could work, they would need more detailed data. only a few people would actually use this. there might be other requirements as well for using the service, maybe some "kit" that you receive beforehand that projects a signal or light for the copter to properly land. like 4 sensors that you have to put into ground so it can land in that exact spot
you don't know the details
The military doesn't fly them over non-hostile cities and doesn't worry about the thing crashing into a house and killing/injuring a person or damaging property and getting sued out of business. The government can always print more money to cover any damages they suffer, Amazon can't.
As far as me not knowing the details, I don't have to. I've been working in the Electronic News Gathering and Airborne Law Enforcement industry for 25 years now (mainly in IT and R&D). We manufacture many products that go on helicopters and I know all too well of the nightmare with dealing with the FAA just to get what is called an STC or Supplemental Type Certificate for gear that goes on aircraft. Getting an STC is EASY compared to getting the full blow TC. Also, for the design that is shown, you could never get it approved because the payload that it carries is EXTERNAL and it would need a separate STC for each and every different payload combination. Simply slinging a box of varying size underneath a helicopter isn't allowed.
If it sounds too incredible to be true, it’s because it is—for now. Bezos predicted Prime Air is still “four to five” years off. Why announce it now? Probably to ensure that, on the eve of Cyber Monday, Amazon is all anybody will be talking about.
Amazon has caught our attention, but can it, well, deliver? Here are some of the hurdles Prime Air will need to overcome in order to become a reality.
The most pressing hurdle in Prime Air’s way is the fact that the Federal Aviation Administration currently doesn’t permit commercial drones in U.S. airspace.
There’s a reason Chris Anderson, former editor-in-chief of Wired turned commercial drone mogul, called delivery by drone “incredibly stupid.”
"We love drones for agriculture because there are no people there, but using drones for delivery in built-up areas around people might not be the best idea," he said.
Edited by 47 Knucklehead - 12/2/13 at 11:49am
Most people wouldn’t hijack a mail truck. Yet, much in the way antisocial behavior increases over the Internet, criminal behavior might seem less harmful when it’s against a robot instead of a human. It could become one more way to lose a package in transit.
"If you can convincingly fake a GPS signal, you can convince an [unmanned aerial vehicle] into tracking your signal instead of the authentic one, and at that point you can control the UAV," said Todd Humphreys, an assistant professor specializing in orbital mechanics.