• The Seattle Times reports that a man named Cheddi Skeete is suing Amazon, charging that "he was denied promotions and ultimately fired in March after sharing concerns about the program and its crashes internally … almost a year since he was terminated as a program manager, Skeete is suing his former employer in King County Superior Court in Seattle. Through his attorneys, Skeete claims Amazon discriminated against him because he is a Black man and retaliated against him for raising safety concerns about the drone program."
Skeete questioned the number of crashes taking place during testing as well as the lack of safety protocols created for the program.
The Times writes:
"Back in 2013, Amazon began touting its vision to use autonomous drones to deliver packages – up to 5 pounds – to customers’ homes in less than half an hour. After more than two dozen prototypes, the team – Prime Air – began piloting deliveries in Lockeford, California, last year.
"As envisioned by Amazon, customers would place orders for Prime Air-eligible items. Drones would then fly to their backyards, hover, release the package and rise back up.
"In April 2022, a Bloomberg investigation found the program was beset by technical challenges, high turnover and safety concerns, according to internal documents, government reports and interviews with 13 current and former employees, including Skeete. A crash that June prompted federal regulators to question the drone’s airworthiness, Bloomberg wrote."