Amazon and NASA Are Working on Drone Air Traffic Control Systems
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Two giants in their own fields are joining forces to develop a newly forming space. Amazon and NASA have both established outposts in France to develop air traffic control systems specifically for drones.
NASA has already been spearheading efforts to create a drone air-traffic-control system (ATC), similar to the FAA’s ATC system — signing agreements with Amazon and Google to develop technology to facilitate this new system. Drones have had a history of run-ins not only with each other but also with commercial aircraft that have proved for some hairy encounters. As more drones take to the skies, it will be important to have a system that helps them avoid collisions.
Both Amazon and NASA have teams in France working on software for systems to manage drones in the air. NASA has set up in Toulouse, home to Airbus headquarters, and is working with drone maker Delair-Tech.
“Coordinating traffic between drones, as well as with planes, it’s the end-goal that’s mobilizing a lot of people across the industry,” Michael de Lagarde, CEO of Delair-Tech told Bloomberg. “Today, we’re collectively at level zero of traffic management, we just segment the air space.”
France was one of the first countries to regulate commercial drone use and its laws are less burdensome than the US’ when it comes to regulating unmanned aerial vehicles. That allows Delair-Tech, and NASA and Amazon, to test long distance flights and its air-traffic control system.
Amazon has established a lab in Paris to test its own air-traffic-control system that will eventually control the drones that deliver goods from its warehouses to customers. The software includes highly detailed maps that include temporary objects that could prove as obstacles — like construction cranes, weather and birds.
Featured image by VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees