There was a time when this article could have made the April Fools billing. However, Amazon insist packages could soon be delivered to customers by drone.
That’s right, Amazon drone delivery could soon be an actual thing. Not only that, Amazon reckon they could kick off their sky-based service ‘within months’.
The online shopping giant announced this exciting update at a conference in Las Vegas. A statement was also later shared online.
Jeff Wilke, Amazon executive, has said the drone would be able to travel 15 miles. It is expected to be able to carry packages weighing 5lbs or less.
Meanwhile the machine is also said to be able to distinguish obstacles – like dogs, people and clotheslines – before reacting suitably.
What is not publicly known at this point, however, is where in the world will be the first to experience drone deliveries.
We also are not aware of when this program will take off. However, what we do know is that there is a lot of excitement and intrigue!
Amazon drone delivery – will it work?
Well, this is an idea that has been out there for a while. Many considered it as just a simple PR trick, with Amazon possibly making an empty promise to grab headlines and endorse its Prime membership service.
However, a few years ago there was a report of a successful test run in Cambridge. It is said that a package was delivered by drone in just 13 minutes. Now, things are ramping up and we could see a rollout of the service in the VERY near future.
According to the BBC, the US Federal Aviation Administration has granted permission to Amazon to operate the drone in the US. It is understood that ‘Amazon Prime Air’ could be launched before the end of the year.
What has Amazon said about the service?
Amazon displayed the design of the drone that will be used, at the recent ‘RE:Mars’ conference. The drone has six rotors and is able to identify its surroundings thanks to a mix of thermal, visual and ultrasonic sensors.
“We’ve been hard at work building fully electric drones that can fly up to 15 miles and deliver packages under five pounds to customers in less than 30 minutes,” said Wilke. “And, with the help of our world-class fulfilment and delivery network, we expect to scale Prime Air both quickly and efficiently, delivering packages via drone to customers within months.
Had a blast sharing the stage at re:MARS with the newest member of our Prime Air drone family. Can’t wait to see this beautiful drone making ultra-fast deliveries to Amazon customers. #reMARS https://t.co/92k3S2wWUI
— Jeff Wilke (@jeffawilke) June 5, 2019
“Our newest drone design includes advances in efficiency, stability and, most importantly, in safety. It is also unique, and it advances the state of the art.
“How so? First, it’s a hybrid design. It can do vertical take-offs and landings – like a helicopter. And it’s efficient and aerodynamic – like an airplane. It also easily transitions between these two modes – from vertical-mode to airplane mode, and back to vertical mode.
“It’s fully shrouded for safety. The shrouds are also the wings, which makes it efficient in flight.”
So, there you have it, we could see the first official drone delivery operation ‘within months’ – excited?
But why would this be such a good thing? Well, not only will it be a huge plus for convenience, but there would also be an environmental benefit.
Wilke added: “Prime Air is one of many sustainability initiatives to help achieve Shipment Zero, the company’s vision to make all Amazon shipments net zero carbon, with 50% of all shipments net zero by 2030.
“When it comes to emissions and energy efficiency, an electric drone, charged using sustainable means, traveling to drop off a package is a vast improvement over a car on the road.
“Today, most of us run to the store because we need an item now. With a service like Prime Air, we’ll be able to order from home and stay home. This saves tremendously on fuel usage and reduces emissions.
“Our drones are safe, efficient, stable, and good for the environment. We know customers have high standards, so we set a high bar for Prime Air. And we’re excited to be nearing our goal.”