prime air, drone, amazon

With the onset of drone technology, Amazon wants to change the face of last mile delivery. It aims to cut down delivery times down to a mere 30 minutes by deploying its automated ‘Prime Air’ drones worldwide. With regards to the same, the e-commerce giant has now achieved another milestone by completing a successful delivery demo — this time on American soil.

At Amazon’s invite-only MARS (machine learning, automation, robotics, and space exploration, a cheeky abbreviation) conference in California, the company demonstrated their drone delivery technology to the public gathering. Though the order had been pre-punched, the Prime Air drone was operating autonomously. It was also not a commercial flight, well because…regulations, but this was still the first public demo of the said delivery service in the United States. And it was conducted with the assistance of the FAA.

Prior to this demo, Amazon had already added a feather to its hat with the successful completion of its first-ever commercial delivery using the Prime Air drone in the U.K. It had then delivered a Fire TV and a bag of popcorn to a nearby destination within 13 minutes, whereas today it surfaced from the trees and delivered a handful of sunscreen bottles for the attendees. You can witness this delivery moment right here:

After years of research and recent test deliveries, Amazon’s ambitious plan for employing drones as last-mile delivery alternatives may come to fruition in the coming months. The Prime Air drones can carry products weighing no more than 5 pounds while being guided by GPS and flying below 400 feet. The only human interaction required for this delivery system is the packaging as the drones operate autonomously.

But, this innovation will all be in vain if the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) doesn’t soften its outlook on autonomous drone delivery systems. Amazon has already pushed its card for the said concept but is waiting for approval to launch and operate the same at scale. It isn’t being faced with similar regulatory hurdles in the United Kingdom, so we’re sure to see rapid progress in that region. The company is currently testing technologies to safeguard these drones from accidents and deliver packages using parachutes.

If Amazon is able to finally (somehow!) score approval for its Prime Air autonomous delivery system, it has several other crazy and ambitious ideas in store. The e-commerce giant has patented concepts but will have to jump through even more regulatory hoops to turn them into reality. It is looking to introduce flying warehouses called Aeriel Fulfilment Centers into the mix. These will probably be deployed at certain geographical locations and will deliver perishable items and groceries using drones. All the concepts are inter-connected and aimed at reducing delivery times. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Comment your thoughts on the same down below.

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