While a video of the Amazon drone suggested that it would deliver goods at people's doorsteps, the DHL parcelcopter will land at a field on the island that is reserved for it. From there, a regular DHL courier will deliver the goods.
DHL has partnered with two research and development organizations- the Institute of Flight System Dynamics at RWTH Aachen University and Microdrones.
The FAA is required by U.S. Congress to frame a "safe integration" plan for the commercial use of UAS by Sept. 30, 2015. It said in February that it expected to publish a proposed rule for small UAS of under about 55 pounds this year. "That proposed rule will likely include provisions for commercial operations," it said. Seven aerial photo and video production companies have asked for regulatory exemptions to use UAS for the film and television industry.
Google and Amazon are already testing the use of drones for deliveries. In its application to the FAA in July for testing drone-based delivery services, Amazon said it was limited to testing its commercial service indoors or abroad because of the agency's regulations.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.