Amazon Sets Sights on Drone Delivery
Originally an online bookseller, Amazon has expanded its reach by selling a larger variety of products, including its own Kindle tablet, and introducing more aspects of the organization with Amazon Fresh (grocery delivery in Seattle and Los Angeles), Amazon Fashion (one-stop apparel shopping)and Amazon Web Services (Cloud computing that provides a variety of Web needs to organizations, including Netflix and the CIA).
Last week Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced his latest project to Charlie Rose on “60 Minutes.”
“I know this looks like science fiction. It’s not,” Bezos said as he revealed two octocopters.
The devices, also referred to as “drones” or “unmanned aerial vehicles,” are the next form of Amazon delivery, called Amazon Prime Air. The package-carrying drone will arrive within 30 minutes of the purchase, Bezos said. He expects each drone to be able to carry up to five pounds, which accounts for 86 percent of Amazon’s deliveries, and travel by GPS coordinates to a destination within a 10-mile radius of an Amazon fulfillment, aka distribution, center, allowing this form of delivery to be more prominent in urban areas.
“And so, it won’t work for everything,” he said on the TV program. "You know, we’re not gonna deliver kayaks or table saws this way."
While this technology isn’t legal yet, Bezos hopes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will have new regulations in place by 2015. He plans to have his drones in the air in four to five years after the company conducts more safety testing.
“It will work, and it will happen, and it’s gonna be a lot of fun,” he said.
And Amazon isn't alone. UPS is experimenting with the technology, according to The Verge, and CNN cites the use of drones overseas, such as Domino’s Pizza in the United Kingdom and an Australian book company.