Amazon is making new drones faster than the FAA can approve them

Europe is doing it better

Amazon has been working to get its drones off the ground for a long time, and the US's Federal Aviation Administration has fought it every step of the way.

Now, despite certain well-publicized victories, the US has fallen behind European countries when it comes to drones, and it's in danger of slipping even further, Amazon Global Public Policy Vice President Paul Misener told a Senate subcommittee today.

Apparently the company is designing and testing new drones more rapidly than the FAA can regulate to keep up with them.

Where other countries have taken one or two months to approve entire categories of Amazon drones for testing, the FAA took over a year to OK a single drone model that's now long obsolete, Misener said.

"We don't test it anymore," he said. "We've moved on to more advanced designs that we already are testing abroad."

Understandable, but misguided

The FAA has also proposed other regulations that would dictate that drones be controlled by humans and always in sight of their pilots, showing an understandable - but likely misguided - distrust of the technology.

As The Verge notes, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) may introduce a bill that could speed the process up, and Amazon hinted that Congress might be able to persuade the FAA to move more quickly.

For now, though, US residents are going to have to keep waiting for autonomous drones to drop packages on their doorsteps.