When Amazon came out with its attention-grabbing announcement about a drone delivery service, many people were quick to shoot the idea down as implausible; but it seems like the United Arab Emirates were paying attention to Jeff Bezos’ big plans.
This week, the United Arab Emirates made the surprising announcement that the government had already begun testing an unmanned delivery drone system to ferry important official documents. According to reports from Reuters, residents of the UAE in big cities like Dubai may soon have their official documents such as licenses, permits and ID cards delivered to them by drone.
The battery-operated drones being tested by the UAE government are big enough to carry small packages, and will contain fingerprint and retina scanners to keep their cargo as secure as possible. Though Amazon announced the possibility of a drone program in December 2013, the UAE’s foray into drone deliveries will be the first official project of this sort around the world.
Meanwhile, parcels delivered by drones have already become a reality in a small number of other countries, though none in an official, government context. Companies in Dongguang, China and Sydney, Australia are both expected to begin wide-spread drone delivery systems early this year.