Amazon taps former MIT professor to helm Prime Air, its planned drone delivery program


There’s been a lot of debate about how serious Amazon is with its much touted (and very not-a-real-thing-currently) Prime Air drone-delivery program, considering the Federal Aviation Administration has specifically banned drones for commercial purposes. Add one on the serious side of the score card: the company has recruited former MIT professor Paul Viola to be its vice president of science for Prime Air.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had previously “demoed” the service (which, again, does not really exist in any real form) for “60 Minutes” and the FAA has predicted 7,500 unmanned commercial aircraft will be taking to the skies in five years.

Viola is well positioned to make that happen: He’s previously worked on advanced face detection software and other image-recognition technology, and recently did a stint at Microsoft managing engineering teams working on Bing’s algorithms. On his updated LinkedIn profile, he lists his new job description as “Delivering packages in 30 mins.”

via John Paczkowski.

Michael Morisy is the founder and former editor of BetaBoston. Follow him on Twitter at @Morisy or email him at [email protected].
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