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There’s another major twist in Amazon’s drone saga

March 24, 2015, 7:41 PM UTC
Courtesy of Amazon

Amazon said Tuesday that the drones it recently got federal regulators’ permission to test are already obsolete.

The Federal Aviation Administration last week gave Amazon permission to fly one of its drone models for testing and research purposes. Amazon started lobbying for that approval back in July of last year, months after it first revealed plans to deliver packages via drones.

But while the FAA was considering whether or not to approve Amazon’s request to test its drones, the Seattle-based e-commerce company has already made newer, better models, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Via the Journal:

While the Federal Aviation Administration was considering its applications for testing, Amazon had already developed new models so “that the [drone] approved last week by the FAA has become obsolete. We don’t test it anymore,” Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president for global public policy, said in prepared testimony for a congressional hearing on Tuesday. “We’ve moved on to more advanced designs that we already are testing abroad.”

The FAA in February proposed new commercial drone regulations that would eliminate the need for the agency to approve drone testing on a case-by-case basis. However, the rules as written likely wouldn’t allow for Amazon’s vision of a drone-delivery future. The agency is expected to vote on those rules later this year.

Amazon posted earnings of $0.45 per share and sales of $29.3 billion in January, beating expectations.