UPDATE 3/01/2017: Amazon’s patent filings for their drone delivery service are doing the rounds of the internet being circulated by CB Insights’ Zoe Leavitt. These plans reveal “airborne fulfillment centers” that will help the company make drone deliveries work at scale.
The AFCs, would be kept stocked with some inventory and located at strategic places for quick and safe delivery. Drones would include temperature-controlled models for food delivery, and the company hAs also envisioned larger shuttles for carrying people, supplies and drones to the AFCs or back down.
Prime Air - Amazon's New Aircraft Vehicles Delivery System First Steps
A future where our ordered items will be delivered with a drone isn’t very far. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced today that they have successfully made their first fully autonomous drone delivery to a customer in the UK using Amazon Prime Air.
A customer named Richard placed an order for an Amazon Fire Stick streaming device and a bag of popcorn and these items were delivered to him in the next 13 minutes! The only work done by a human in this process was the person who packed the box to be delivered.
Amazon is promising 30 minute delivery or less with these drone once the service does start. To ensure safety, the vehicles are being created with multiple redundancies, as well as sophisticated “sense and avoid” technology.
The UK government has given permission to Amazon for future testing to fly drones beyond the line of sight of a pilot, but this still not allowed in the US as yet. These tests will be done with 2 customers, who reside in Cambridge, and they can place an order for specific items that weigh under 5 lbs.
This is so because the small drones have a weight limit and need to stick to it in order to fly at an optimal speed. The 2 customers will get these items delivered for free and on any day of the week but during daylight hours and with good weather conditions.
The landing of the drone obviously needs a spacious area like a lawn so it is a little unclear as to how this drone delivery service will work in urban cities with high traffic and apartment buildings.