Amazon’s drone delivery program is still in testing and, based on recent reports, you won’t get your Amazon packages by drone anytime soon.
A Bloomberg report reveals that Amazon lost five drones in a period of five months of testing, with one incident investigated by the FAA having potentially disastrous consequences.
One Amazon delivery drone’s safety features related to landing and stabilisation failed and sent the drone straight into the ground. There, it started a fire that consumed 25 acres of vegetation and had to be put out by the local fire department.
“Instead of a controlled descent to a safe landing, [the drone] dropped about 160 feet in an uncontrolled vertical fall and was consumed by fire,” the FAA said in a report of the incident quoted by Bloomberg.
Contacted by The Verge to verify the Bloomberg report, an Amazon rep said that the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) never classified any of Amazon’s flight tests as an accident, as they didn’t result in any injuries or put structures at risk.
Initially announced back in 2013, the Amazon drone delivery service was tested both in the US and the UK. Its launch date is not known yet, though multiple drone delivery services were deployed successfully in recent times.