Amazon Delivery Drones are Coming: What to Expect

Amazon is a household name and a company used by millions of people use every day. From revolutionizing book sales to creating an efficient shipping system, Amazon is continuously innovating and bringing us into the future of consumerism. Next up: Amazon drones.

They are coming soon, and here is what you can expect from the company’s delivery drones.

Welcome, Amazon Prime Air.

Called Amazon Prime Air, or just Prime Air, these Amazon drones are going to be capable of delivering your Amazon order much more quickly than the average mail service, even faster than Primes two-day shipping. Prime Air will use delivery drones to deliver packages to the customer within 60 minutes of receiving an order.

As the program continues to grow, Amazon Prime users will be able to have their orders delivered via drone using the same ordering process that is already in place. 

How Will They Work?

Amazon has created and worked with more than 25 prototypes since the start of Amazon Prime Air. These Prime Air drones are not small — with a width of 6.5 feet and a height of near feet, these drones are much bigger than the average camera drone. This is, of course, because they’ll be carrying cargo. The drones will be programmed to drop packages on a specific spot from about four feet off the ground.

As for the drone’s volume levels, an Amazon spokesperson has said they are working to reduce noise and ensure the drones don’t cause ample disruption when en route. 

These drones are unlike many drones that already exist. For example, the Prime Air drones can sense nearby objects and obstacles and will reroute themselves to avoid a collision. The drone’s ability to avoid barriers means it can travel further than previously thought. This ensures the device is safe when en route and safe when landing. 

These drones can do more than detect fixed objects. Amazon Prime Air drones are capable of spotting both static and moving objects, as well as differentiating between the two. By understanding whether the drone is dealing with something still, like a pole, or something moving, like another drone, the drone will reroute itself to continue on a safe path forward. 

When Will They Start? 

In June, Amazon announced that they’d start delivering packages using drones. The company is starting in Lockeford, California. They chose Lockeford because of the typical weather and its flat typography. Lockeford is also close to the highway and is unincorporated, making it simpler to put the wheels in motion.

Amazon says the residents of Lockeford, California, within four miles of the program site that choose to participate in this trial program will be able to select from a list of items under five pounds. These lightweight items will be stored in a warehouse closeby. From there, items will be dropped in backyards. 

Amazon is leasing the nearby warehouse, which belongs to a local concrete maker. According to Lockeford County officials, Amazon is still working on getting its permits in order. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will also have to review the company.

Amazon Prime Air: Yes or No?

Not everyone is happy about the drones, though. Many people are nervous about how they’ll work and land. Plus, if their cameras will collect data and information when flying over people’s homes and seeing into their private backyards. 

Will people switch to Amazon, causing their local economies to suffer? Many people are also concerned about what the drones and the speedy delivery will mean for local mom-and-pop shops in the area. 

Of course, a company the size of Amazon has its own team to handle small, local government agencies and other such communications. Lockeford, California, isn’t the only town ready to experience Amazon Prime Air. The city of College Station, Texas, is set to vote on a plan to introduce drone delivery services on July 14.

So far, only three companies utilizing drone delivery have gone through processes with the FAA to earn their air carrier certification. The air carrier certificate is a requirement for operating drones with such advanced abilities.

Parting Thoughts

Drones are the future for Amazon, and if it works out, lots of companies will probably start to follow suit. The drone system could work for many industries, from online mail orders to grocery and meal delivery. Would you consider having a drone deliver your next Prime order?  

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