"That's a difficult question to answer," Bezos said at Business Insider's IGNITION conference, when asked how soon we would see drone delivery. "Tech is not the long poll, regulatory [agencies] is." Bezos noted it would be up regulatory agencies to approve drone delivery and it's difficult to predict when that might be approved. Bezos is an investor in Business Insider, a competitor of TheStreet.
When Bezos was on CBS' (CBS) 60 Minutes in December 2013, the company originally said on its Web site it hoped "the FAA's [Federal Aviation Administration] rules will be in place as early as sometime in 2015. We will be ready at that time." The Web site has since been changed to say -- "Putting Prime Air into service will take some time, but we will be ready as soon as the FAA grants permission."
During an interview with Henry Blodget, Bezos noted the Prime Air team is currently working on its 10th or 11th iteration of the project, with the "most interesting" part being auto pilot.
Amazon has been in contact with the FAA to try to get its Prime Air drone initiative off the ground but the company's leader is fearful that other countries may pass the U.S. by when it comes to package delivery by drone.
"The ratio of lawyers to engineers at Prime Air is probably the highest at Amazon," Bezos said. "It's highly likely that other countries get drone delivery before the U.S. Maybe I'm being too skeptical, but it's certainly possible."
-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York
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