recommended reading

Australia and China Are Beating Amazon in the Commercial Drone Race

Selfiy/Shutterstock.com

That Amazon is readying a fleet of drones to drop off packages to customers seems like yet another example of the company’s cutting edge. The project could go live as early as 2015, after the US approves laws for commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), but a slew of companies around the world are already leaps ahead of Amazon.

Flirtey, the drone of Zookal, an Australian textbook rental startup, will begin dropping off book orders to Sydney residents as soon as March 2014 (here’s video clip of Flirtey in flight). Zookal’s fleet of six Flirteys can deliver packages within two to three minutes, locating the customer via the Flirtey Android app. The drones’ anti-collision technology prevents them from smashing into things—something that’s proved a challenge for other Sydney-based drones.

While the Australian flight authority still has to approve Zookal’s plans, commercial drones are allowed to fly within 122 meters (400 feet) of the ground.

Australia’s looser regulations could help make it a commercial drone pioneer. ”As one of the few countries in the world to allow commercial drone activities, Australia is uniquely placed to create a new drone industry and shape the development of regulations in this space,” Zookal CEO Ahmed Haider told The Verge. The company’s joint-venture partner, a startup called Vimbra, is now signing up other businesses for drone deliveries, reports PandoDaily.

Breathing down Zookal’s neck is Shunfeng Express, one of China’s biggest parcel delivery services, which began testing drone delivery back in September. The city police where SF Express is testing its drones, which can fly as high as 100 meters, are so far permitting the drone flights. According to Chinese media reports, SF Express insiders say the company has successfully completed drone testing (links in Chinese).

(Image via Selfiy/Shutterstock.com)

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.