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

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Every year, we look for promising technologies poised to have a real impact on the world. Here are the advances that we think matter most right now.

Scientists are finding signals of long covid in blood. They could lead to new treatments.

Faults in a certain part of the immune system might be at the root of some long covid cases, new research suggests.

AI for everything: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT reached mass adoption in record time, and reset the course of an entire industry.

What’s next for AI in 2024

Our writers look at the four hot trends to watch out for this year

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.