Amazon Drones Land At SXSW

amazon drone sxsw

Amazon is allowing the attendees to get an up close view of its delivery drones at this year’s South by Southwest festival in Austin, Tex.

Fortune reported that the eCommerce giant is displaying two drones at the event, marking the first time the Amazon has showcased the machines to the general public.

While the company is not enabling the drones to perform any test deliveries or flying them at all during the festival, there’s still an opportunity for many people to get a first look at the high-profile delivery drones.

During a panel at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president of global innovation policy and communications, warned that current state laws governing drone operations would continue to pose problems for developing drone delivery systems.

Misener said that it would be best to have globally consistent commercial drone regulations, though variations between large regions — like between Europe and Asia — wouldn’t be problematic.

“Where it would be a problem,” Misener was quoted as saying, “is if Texas had a rule that Arkansas didn’t or if Belgium had a rule that France didn’t. Here in the U.S., we’ve seen a proliferation of state bills that could affect the ability of entrepreneurs or larger enterprises to conduct business across state borders, and that makes no sense at all. The FAA has been in charge of the airspace for safety …. For states to step in at this point would be a real problem.”

While current FAA regulations have limited Amazon’s ability to test drone delivery stateside, Amazon has started a small, private drone delivery trial in the U.K. It recently come to light via a chain of email correspondences that Amazon was testing its drone technology in U.K. airspace for much longer than initially believed. The company was reportedly in contact with the CAA since 2014 and has been testing drones in U.K. airspace since summer 2015.