US officials say a small number of commercial drone deliveries could start taking place in America over the coming months.
Back story: America has been a laggard in opening the skies for drone testing. That caused firms like Amazon to look overseas to perform delivery trials. But the Trump administration has made efforts to allow people to experiment with drones more freely.
The news: The Wall Street Journal says several officials predict that delivery trials—probably similar to those taking place in Europe and Africa—could happen as soon as May in the US. The Federal Aviation Administration’s Earl Lawrence says some firms have been carrying out small trials and are “getting ready for full-blown operations.” Which, he adds, are “a lot closer than many of the skeptics think.”
But: Plenty could still go wrong. There are still concerns about filling the skies with drones—safety and security high among them, as well as niggling worries about things like privacy and noise. The first tests will have to go well to keep such problems from derailing wider trials.