Amazon announces Prime Air – a drone delivery service.
On Wednesday, Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, announced on Twitter that the company had made their first drone delivery to an Amazon shopper in England. What was the first Amazon drone delivery through Prime Air? An Amazon Fire streaming device and popcorn. The entire process only took 13 minutes.
Watch Amazon Prime’s first drone delivery video below:
Amazon drone delivery service has the implications of disrupting the entire delivery and trucking industry. On Wednesday, Amazon announced the new program and described it as , “a delivery system from Amazon designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles.”
How does Prime Air work?
Prime Air works by using drones to deliver packages to customers in a matter of a few minutes. Currently, the online shopping giant has development centers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Austria and Israel.
If their order weighs five pounds or less, Amazon shoppers can get their package delivered via Prime Air.
Accordingly, Amazon highlights that safety is their biggest priority. In addition, the company has reportedly developed “sense and avoid” technology. Amazon also plans on delivering packages in 30 minutes or less.
Also, the online shipping giant argues that the company believes they have developed drones small enough to not interfere with aircraft traffic.
When will Amazon Prime Air become available?
It is critical to point out that Amazon Prime Air delivery is not currently available. The program is currently awaiting regulatory approval. Earlier this year, the United States Federal Aviation Administration announced new rules for commercial drone use. However, the biggest limitation is that the drones must be operated by a human pilot and not controlled by an algorithm or GPS mapping software.
What is future of drone delivery?
Without the need for truck drivers, drones may disrupt the way people shop for products. In fact, drones could have a major environmental impact by reducing the number of required trucks to make deliveries.
On the other hand, this news comes after Amazon announced their plan to open brick and mortar stores called Amazon Go. The new stores are a different retail concept featuring stores without checkout counters. The move could be disruptive eliminating the need of cashiers.
No doubt, as Amazon continues to innovate, their new technologies point to lower labor costs. In fact, if the FAA approves of commercial drones without human pilots, the need for truck drivers and logistical operators could hit historic lows.