Over the past few years Amazon has been testing the possibility of using drones for parcel deliveries aiming to provide a “Half an Hour” delivery service through their Amazon Air bolt on to the paid membership Amazon Prime, which they advise would incur no extra costs
Amazon launched this concept back in 2013 with the Company CEO Jeff Bezos saying “You order something and within half an hour you can have a drone land on your front porch, drop off a little box and off it goes”. Amazon aimed to have the drone service nationwide within 5 years, which is a possibility since they have completed their first successful test run in Cambridgeshire
The delivery service sounds easy enough with the Octocopter picking up a yellow boxes, which contain the customer’s order from inside the Amazon warehouse and then fly to the customers address using GPS co-ordinates. The drone would then drop the parcel onto your front lawn, or the designated area as long as it is within 10 miles of the “fulfilment centre”
It is still unknown if Amazon are going to launch the service worldwide due to their being different laws in different countries. For example in Australia pilotless drones – being used within no-one in control of the remote are banned. Also drones aren’t allowed to fly in heavily populated areas and can’t fly within 30m of building and people
However back in the UK, on the 14th December 2016, Amazon completed their first drone delivery in Cambridgeshire. The delivery was completed by the Amazon Air drone delivery service, which consisted of a TV streaming stick and a bag of popcorn delivering it directly to a customer’s house nearby.
This is a breakthrough for Amazon, backing up their first thoughts in 2013 that this delivery service would be possible, and that it could be nationwide sooner rather than later. The only drawback is the customers must be near the fulfilment centre with a large garden and the parcel can be no more than 2.6kg. Also although the delivery can take place seven days a week, the drones are only allowed to fly in daylight hours and clement weather
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