There’s more to drone-based deliveries than just dropping parcels — at least it is for Amazon.
The online giant is developing an air-traffic control system to manage its fleet of drones as they fly from warehouses to customers’ doors — a move that will ensure the devices don’t collide with “non-collaborative flying objects” during delivery, Bloomberg reported. These include buildings, trees, other drones and — the most unpredictable — birds.
In the report, Paul Misener, Amazon’s VP for global innovation policy and communications said, “Going from a warehouse to a customer’s location, a drone has to fly in the right direction, find it, but also avoid all the things along the way.”
The air-traffic software will be loaded onto the drones, allowing the devices to communicate risks with each other in real-time, as well as a central control center. The drones will also have integrated detailed maps that pinpoint static and temporary objects, and weather conditions. Drones will also be programmed with instructions on how to respond if they come near — or strike — a bird, according to the report.
Amazon created its own traffic control system after concluding current solutions don’t support large fleets of autonomous drones. The project is being lead by a new 12-person research and development team, which has expertise in aviation as well as machine learning and artificial intelligence. The group resides near Paris, the report said.
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