In May 2017, Amazon announced the opening of a new Prime Air Development Center in Clichy, France, to boost research and development into its drone delivery program. Today, the dozen-strong team focusing on drone navigation stands reassigned to new roles.
The French R&D team was brought in to develop “the world’s safest and most sophisticated traffic management software for autonomous drones.” As Amazon explained in a press statement then:
The drone traffic management software will complement the existing air traffic control system and help safely integrate drones flying beyond the line of sight into the airspace. It will enable safe low-altitude drone operations, providing airspace access and geofencing; real-time identification and separation of airborne traffic, and; flight planning including contingency management and severe weather avoidance.
Beginning September 2020, however, at least eight from the French team have been working on COVID-19-testing…