13 years after Jeff Bezos promised the world drone delivery, it appears they might be making good on that promise soon. The company is planning to roll out its first city this year.
Which feels like something out of a sci fi movie. While it still seems logistically impossible for drones delivery to actually work, I wouldn’t bet against Bezos’ ability to pull it off…
If you haven’t heard of their drone delivery network yet, it’s called Prime Air.
So what the hell is Prime Air exactly?
What is Prime Air Anyway?
In order to qualify for 30-minute delivery, your order must be less than 5 lbs. The products also have to be small enough to fit in the cargo box that the aircraft will carry… and have an Amazon delivery location within a 10-mile radius of a participating Amazon fulfillment center.
Is This Actually Happening?
In late 2020 Amazon, along with Zipline, Wingcopter and 7 others were selected by FAA to participate in a type certification program for delivery drones. Operations are expected to begin in the town of Lockeford, California later in 2022.
After years of testing and delays, the company is finally set to launch. At least for products 5 pounds or less…
Watch this video to learn more.
How will Prime Air Actually Work Though?
When a customer places an order eligible for Prime Air, they’ll receive an estimated arrival time and status tracker for their package.
The drone uses a sense-and-avoid system to safely fly packages while also dodging obstacles such as other objects and aircraft.
“As our drone descends to deliver the package into a customer’s backyard, the drone ensures that there’s a small area around the delivery location that’s clear of any people, animals, or other obstacles,” said an Amazon representative.
Once it gets low enough, the drone will release the package and just fly off.
Is Anyone Else Doing Drone Delivery?
Walmart said their drone network could reach up to 4 million households in six states: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Utah and Virginia. Items including Tylenol, diapers and hot dog buns could be delivered in as little as 30 minutes…
Similarly, drone company Wing, owned by Google parent company Alphabet, announced in April plans to launch a commercial drone delivery service in Dallas. Walgreens is among the retailers partnering with Wing to offer items delivered by drone.