Worried about the safety of drone delivery? NASA has your back

“We recorded some valuable data that will take some time to analyze fully, and we expect we’ll need to make some minor refinements to our algorithms, but from what we saw during the tests, the results look promising,” Dennis Hines, a program director at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, said in a report posted to NASA’s website.
This, NASA said, was the third phase in testing to see how the drones can sense and avoid obstacles in their path. A NASA spokesperson tells Quartz that “these tests are part of an evolving process that will culminate in a capstone exercise next spring.” Meanwhile, the avoidance systems are being refined, in order to provide drone operators “with capabilities for avoiding conflicts with other traffic on par with that available to crewed aircraft.”
If this technology could be implemented on the sorts of smaller drones that Amazon wants to fly, NASA might have just made a significant dent in one of the biggest challenges preventing commercial drone services from becoming a reality.