In the year 2016, Amazon decided it was time to really go big or go home. And then, it started treading the path that leads to transformation of the shopping experience for consumers. It is now taking its dreamy ambitions — which are steadily being fulfilled — to another level.
According to patent filings discovered by research firm CB Insights, Amazon is looking to scale its drone delivery system using another tech innovation called Aeriel Fulfilment Center. These lightweight airships, which can be referred to as AFCs, synonymous to flying warehouses will be stocked with a certain amount of inventory and make last-mile Prime deliveries even speedier.
But a gliding aircraft full of goodies isn’t the only thing the American e-commerce giant planning to fly over your home. Once you place an order for a product that is available in the AFC’s inventory, the company will deploy a tried-and-tested delivery drone (or UAV) to complete the product delivery to your doorstep in just minutes.
The patent filing further suggests that the company will be placing these AFCs over a geographical location where the demand for products is expected to rise very soon. It could also be employed to deliver perishable items and groceries to customers on a day-to-day basis, where the drones can be sent out for deliveries according to a safe and planned schedule.
But how will fresh items and inventory be replenished within the AFCs? Since these mobile warehouses will be floating at high altitudes, it’ll be difficult for the Prime delivery drone to climb and reach back to them. Also, there is the issue of charging these drones and making them ready for another delivery. To complete all these tasks, Amazon has come up with another brilliant plan. And mind you, this can be fulfilled and implemented in the coming years.
To solve the aforementioned problem, Amazon is employing the services of its on-ground warehouses coupled with another aircraft – which is smaller than the first one. The delivery drones will return to this warehouse, where it will be charged, and then this new aircraft will carry not only these drones and inventory for the AFC but also humans who will assist in the management of the floating warehouse.
This patent details a complex process of air delivery system, which is being described as the planet-killer Death Star (Star Wars pun, get it!?) It is looking to create a mesh-like aerial delivery network that will definitely help in speedier deliveries but can also be employed to at a later stage beam internet to location in need of high-speed connectivity. We hope this ambitious plan from Amazon comes to fruition in the next year or two.