Amazon starts drone deliveries in the UK
Amazon has now started its drone delivery service, delivering its first-ever order via drone within 13 minutes. The service, however, is nested in the UK, and the FAA’s rules threaten implementation of the service in the United States.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, announced three years ago that Amazon was working on a drone delivery service, to overwhelming fanfare. Now, his vision of a drone service, titled Amazon Prime Air, has become a reality, at least in the UK.
The first Amazon drone delivery landed safely at its destination in Cambridge, the logistics of which — ordering, loading, and shipping — took merely 13 minutes.
A video Amazon uploaded on its site depicted the whole process, with the order being completed by an electrically powered quadcopter drone roaming 400 feet above ground. Moving forward, these drones will soar off the UK airspace, en route to select English customers who’ll be rooted in history as the first recipients of Amazon orders shipped via drones.
Amazon claims that the drones can make deliveries within 30 minutes, a time frame that includes placing the order, deploying the drone, and landing at its destination.
Amazon’s drone delivery service is presumably still in its testing period, since the shipping method is granted, for now, only to two Cambridge residents, and the drones can only make deliveries during the day, provided that the weather is amiable.
In the coming months, the UK trial will expand to dozens of customers within the warehouse’s proximity, according to BBC. The Cambridge fulfilment centre houses the drones. Once an order is placed, a drone will cascade along an automated track and into the launching area, flying autonomously. The drones can lug items weighing as much as 2.7 kilogrammes.
Despite being in early testing stages, it’s still quite an achievement for Amazon to implement the service, given the fact that prospect of drone deliveries, while promising, was largely the topic of spoofs and parodies when first publicly announced. Amazon executing its drone delivery service abroad owes much to the fact that such a commercial operation is forbidden in the United States.