Amazon has said it would pioneer package delivery by drone overseas if the U.S. continues to block its methods stateside. Now it’s taking another step down that path.
The online retail giant announced Monday evening that it had reached an agreement with the U.K. government to expand the types of drone tests it is conducting in the region. The new arrangement will allow Amazon to test drone flights that extend beyond the line of sight of the pilot in suburban or rural areas — a necessary ingredient in the aerial delivery of packages that the U.S.’s Federal Aviation Administration currently doesn’t allow.
The agreement also includes the ability for Amazon to test sensors that would prevent drones from unintentionally colliding, and allows Amazon to have a single drone pilot oversee a fleet of drones. Such a setup would be necessary to make large-scale drone delivery economically feasible someday.
“The U.K. is a leader in enabling drone innovation,” an Amazon exec said in one part of a statement.
"The U.K. is charting a path forward for drone technology that will benefit consumers, industry and society,” he said in another. Not a coincidence.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.