When it comes to ordering items in the United States, consumers know that they can rely on this company to send packages as quickly as possible to their doors. With Amazon Prime, shipments are often delivered in just 2 days.
The concept of Delivery Drones is an attempt to cut delivery costs and time so that you, the consumer, can get packages in as little as 30 minutes.
Imagine needing a specific cooking ingredient or a gift to give your nephew who is coming over later, and you have to clean your house.
Amazon wants to make it so that you can order items and receive them virtually on-demand. Imagine never having to worry about buying items and waiting for them again.
Before being called “Prime Air,” Jeff Bezos, announced what was called Octocopter. Essentially a name change, this was a special, top secret research and development project that was rumored but never revealed until late 2013.
The goal of the project is simple: consumers will order items and a package arrives on their doorstep within 30 minutes.
The timeframe for this project to be a reality in the United States is just 4 – 5 years. The future is here, and some countries have even started to allow these drones to be tested in other sectors. Just recently, another company delivered the world’s first pizza via a drone. If a pizza place can do it, the future of delivery will be limitless.
One of the biggest hurdles that Amazon faces is that they need the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) to approve their flights. The company has requested permission to start testing their package delivery, but the approval has yet to be granted.
Based in Seattle, the company has extensively tested their drones and have come to the conclusion that the next logical step is to test deliveries in a more natural location.
They stated that testing would be away from airports and still conducted on the private property. This should allow for the FAA to make an easier decision.
The FAA has not yet granted an answer to any commercial entities that want to use drones in US airspace. The average person can fly their own drones, but there are restrictions in place. Amazon has stated that their drones will not exceed the FAA guideline of 55 pounds.
Drone Speed and Distance
The drones they have tested have a maximum flight speed of 50 miles per hour. This would mean that package destinations would need to be within a 15 – 20 mile radius of the warehouse to reach delivery time.
In reality, the distance will likely be much shorter. Amazon forecasts that delivery will take place within a 10 mile radius of their fulfillment centers.
Currently, there are 96 fulfillment centers that belong to Amazon in the country.
While no word has been released, many experts expect that the service will only be available to consumers next to their warehouses while they expand their service further.
There may even be hubs that are within a 10 – 20 mile radius to ensure consumer demands can be made and if not, items can be flown from one hub to the next.
Amazon states that 86 percent of all of their packages shipped are 5 pounds in weight or less.
This has been the reasoning for their drone delivery service having a maximum weight limit of just 5 pounds. This also ensures that the drone’s weight is well within the guidelines set by the FAA.
Testing in Other Countries
India currently does not have laws pertaining to drones. The company may, according to speculation, test their drones within India. With lax laws and a very high population, this would be a logical next step for the service if approval is not granted in the United States.
If you are as excited as the rest of the world for Amazon Prime Air, you will not have to wait long to see if the FAA has granted approval. The FAA has to release their rules pertaining to commercial drone usage in September of 2015. Does this mean we may see Prime Air in action at that time? We shall see.
- Amazon plans Prime Air delivery drone tests in the UK – on TheNextWeb.com
- Project Wing vs. Prime Air: Google’s Drones Soar Above Amazon’s – on Mashable.com
- Prime Air: Amazon letter to FAA reveals progress with drone delivery plan – on DigitalTrends.com
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- Project Wing from Google, Things You Have to Know