Amazon has announced a major investment to boost its research and development into the use of delivery drones, with the opening of a new Prime Air Development Centre in Clichy, France.

The centre houses a dozen software development specialists charged with creating traffic management software to support Prime Air – a delivery system from Amazon designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles, also called drones.

Developing the world’s safest and most sophisticated traffic management software for autonomous drones

The drone traffic management software will complement the existing air traffic control system and help safely integrate drones flying beyond 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.

Different aspects of the Prime Air program are under development in multiple locations around the world. The new team in France will join other Prime Air development centres in the United States, the United Kingdom, Austria and Israel, all working to realise this amazing innovation for Amazon customers.

“This team of talented engineers will be instrumental in developing the world’s safest and most sophisticated traffic management software for autonomous drones,” highlighted Amazon Vice President for global innovation policy and communications Paul Misener.