Skip to Content
Smart cities

Delivery option: drone. Arrival estimate: sooner than you might think.

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.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

It’s time to retire the term “user”

The proliferation of AI means we need a new word.

The problem with plug-in hybrids? Their drivers.

Plug-in hybrids are often sold as a transition to EVs, but new data from Europe shows we’re still underestimating the emissions they produce.

Sam Altman says helpful agents are poised to become AI’s killer function

Open AI’s CEO says we won’t need new hardware or lots more training data to get there.

An AI startup made a hyperrealistic deepfake of me that’s so good it’s scary

Synthesia's new technology is impressive but raises big questions about a world where we increasingly can’t tell what’s real.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.