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Amazon's Drone Delivery Lifts Off, But Not in US

Look to the skies in Canada, the UK, and the Netherlands. You might just see one of Amazon's delivery drones whizzing by, as the retail giant tests out its Amazon Prime Air service, which aims to deliver packages 30 minutes after you've ordered them.

Amazon has been pushing to add drone delivery to its e-tail arsenal for several years now, with the company now apparently moving into the testing phase. During a Washington Post town hall meeting today (Feb. 1), Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (who also owns the Post) confirmed that the drones are being tested abroad, according to a tweet by Post tech reporter Brian Fung.

Just as interesting as where Amazon is testing its delivery drones is where the company isn't: There was no mention of any Amazon Prime Air testing in the U.S., where Amazon conducts much of its business. That could be an indicator that while Amazon is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to permit drone deliveries — last year, the FAA gave Amazon the OK to fly Prime Air drones for research — regulatory hurdles remain.

With Amazon Prime Air, Amazon hopes to unleash a fleet of 55-pound drones that can deliver packages in 30 minutes or less. The drones will use sense-and-avoid technology to keep from flying into objects mid-air while also scanning the ground to avoid collisions when it's time to land.