Flower Drone

Consumers who placed orders for flowers to be delivered in Detroit for Valentine’s Day should probably check their delivery method, or else they might end up in hot water with their partners when nothing arrives.

The National Journal reported Wednesday that the Federal Aviation Administration informed the Michigan-based FlowerDeliveryExpress.com they would have to discontinue plans to send flower bouquets via unmanned drones.

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According to the company’s CEO, Wesley Berry, the FAA explained that commercial drone use is only allowed on a case-by-case, pre-authorized basis – and apparently their case wasn’t approved. Nevertheless, Berry indicated that the government organization informed him of the news very politely.

“The FAA was extremely professional and polite,” he revealed. “I couldn’t have been chastised in a nicer way.”

The company planned to use the experimental system as a beta test for a select group of customers, which would highlight the drones’ delivery capacity. FlowerDeliveryExpress.com actually made several deliveries on Saturday, Feb. 8, footage of which can be found on Youtube.

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But the drones are apparently just one of a number of alternative delivery methods Berry is exploring. Potential customers can sign up online to participate on the company’s website.

Berry’s company isn’t the first to be issued such a warning by the FAA. At the end of January, a beer-delivery company in Wisconsin was instructed to discontinue its drone delivery service after someone posted Youtube video of one of the company’s unmanned devices.

Meanwhile, Amazon caused a furor last year when the online company announced that it would utilize drone deliveries, even though the plan was to implement the technology by 2015. But as with all companies aspiring to use drones, the speed and availability of the service is dependent upon approval from the government, whose representatives told Berry they were “actively working on it.”

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“This technology is here to stay,” Berry said. “When the time is right, we’ll be ready for orders to be delivered, not by an address, but by GPS coordinates. It’s exciting to plan the future of the business based on this emerging technology.”

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