Drones

Amazon reveals Prime Air drone capable of 30 minute deliveries

According to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the drones will deliver packages to customers within 30 minutes of ordering
According to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the drones will deliver packages to customers within 30 minutes of ordering
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Orders are placed in small plastic containers and then carried by the custom-built "octocopter"
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Orders are placed in small plastic containers and then carried by the custom-built "octocopter"
According to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the drones will deliver packages to customers within 30 minutes of ordering
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According to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the drones will deliver packages to customers within 30 minutes of ordering

As early as 2015, your Amazon purchases could be dropped at your door within 30 minutes courtesy of unmanned aerial drones. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed plans for the delivery service Prime Air (an extension of Amazon Prime which guarantees two-day shipping) in a 60 Minutes interview on Sunday night.

The service would ship orders under five pounds (2.3 kg) after they are packed into small plastic containers and then scooped up by Amazon's custom-built "octocopter." The drone then delivers the package to customers within a 10 mile (16 km) radius of Amazon's fulfillment centers.

Clearly the company will need to jump through various hoops to get the service off the ground, with public safety being a primary concern. "Safety will be our top priority, and our vehicles will be built with multiple redundancies designed to commercial aviation standards," the company says.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently working on rules and regulations for unmanned aerial vehicles, a process which Amazon hopes will be completed sooner rather than later. "We hope the FAA's rules will be in place as early as sometime in 2015. We will be ready at that time."

We have seen a rise in proposals for the use of drones to deliver commercial products. One Australian startup plans to use drones to deliver school textbooks to customers in March 2014, while The Burrito Bomber hopes to be dropping Mexican cuisine on people as soon as 2015. With Amazon's product range, however, Prime Air would be the first to do so on such a large and diverse scale.

It may sound like science fiction, but given that Bezos claims that 300 items per second will be ordered from Amazon on Cyber Monday, it is possible that flocks of Prime Air drones will be zipping around above us in the very near future.

See the drone during a test flight in the video below.

Source: Amazon

Amazon Prime Air

31 comments
JPAR
Nice concept, but no, this just won't happen - too many insurance risks. And if you live in a block of flats, where's it going to drop your parcel? Sadly this is just a bit of free advertising for Amazon.
Calin Dragos George
I like the idea of this delivery drone and I love to order now and receive after 30 minutes the goods. I hope that Amazon will finish this project for fast delivery.
Facebook User
If one comes over my field I'll shoot it out of the sky a grab the goodies (as well as the drone) !!
justme70
Well, I doubt it will work exactly as shown in the video. It will require a bit more setup than that. How do you demarcate the landing zone? How do you demarcate the flight path to the landing zone? Bet it works great on a clutter-free rural estate, as in the video--but what about in the city? What about weather? N-copters are tough to fly in windy conditions. Will this ever work in North Dakota? Still, well begun is half done. Good show, Mr. Bezos! I'll bet the demonstration didn't cost all that much, either.
JoeFlatley
I hope they can pull this off! Interesting challenges here: a) Can this drone see overhead power or phone lines, tree branches? b) What's to keep some kid or dog from running up and getting cut by the blades? c) Urban areas or apartments - where to drop the package? Would this be for rural or suburban only? d) Dependant on weather or winds?
piperTom
Delivery "within a 10 mile radius of Amazon's fulfillment centers"? I guess that's Phase 1. If they can do that, then they can also deliver within a 10 mile radius of Amazon's big TRUCK, driving through cities that don't have "fulfillment centers".
Derek Howe
I believe Bezos, The man thinks long term & BIG. His net worth is 25 billion...you don't get that rich by thinking small. Drones are the future, in a few years from now they will be common place. Projections are saying that by 2017 there will be 7500 drones over the US, a number which will grow extremely quickly once they get it working smoothly, and all the regulations ironed out.
nutcase
It's a publicity gimmick that will never happen.
christopher
The drones need to be helicopters, not quad/hex/whatever copters, and the entire thing (blades and all) need to be soft (inflatable probably) and powered by tip-mounted shrouded ducted fans - then this might work. Or in laymanspeak - these need to be able to crash into anything (eg: a humans face, a car windsheid, a horse), and never hurt anyone or anything, ever.
Szabó Róbert
It is possible to use solar powered airships (solar panels in airship balloon) for transport the packages. Less energy consumption, less pollution.