Amazon Flying Drones to Deliver Your Packages in 30 MinutesDale Wright
No, it’s not an out of season April Fools story, or something out of a sci-fi movie. Amazon has announced it’s working on an Amazon Prime Air service, which would allow customers to get parcels delivered by flying robot drones.
The surprise development came in an interview with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on CBS’ 60 Minutes show. Bezos confirmed that the online retailer is working on the unmanned drones, but they could take five years to develop.
Customers will be able to place their orders on Amazon.com, and have their package with them half an hour later. Obviously you wouldn’t be able to order a flat screen TV and have it flown to you, but the flying drones will be able to deliver parcels weighing up to five pounds (2.3kg), which Bezos says accounts for 86% of Amazon’s available products.
The drones will be called Octocopters, and the service will apparently only be available to Amazon Prime users. However, a lot of customers would probably be willing to pay out the yearly fee of £50 ($79) if they could get their packages flown to them half an hour after ordering. Amazon has put a video on its site demonstrating how the Amazon Prime Air service would work.
There are a few obvious problems with the flying drones service though. Users of social media have been commenting that the unmanned robots will be open to theft as they drop parcels off outside people’s homes without leaving them in a safe place. Amazon says they’re working through all security concerns, and that the Federal Aviation Administration is drawing up some unmanned vehicle rules, which will hopefully be in place by 2015.
So for now the Amazon Prime Air will remain in realms of science fiction, but that might not always be the case. On its official site, Amazon says: “One day, Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today.” We’ve got a few years to wait though.