Amazon Prime Air drone is a conceptual drone-based delivery system currently in development by Amazon.com. When Amazon launched its Prime membership service, tons of people were lured in by the free two-day shipping aspect, never mind all the other perks. But Prime members never dreamed there would come a day when those priority packages would be delivered not by a person dressed in brown but by a semi-autonomous flying drone dressed in white and blue. Amazon’s new delivery drone prototype, known as Prime Air, was originally promised two years ago and now the Washington-based mega retailer has released a teaser ad to show how it’s done. The company wants to use octocopters to deliver your order within a half hour.
According to Amazon: “We’re excited about Prime Air — a future delivery system from Amazon designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using small unmanned aerial vehicles, also called drones. Prime Air has great potential to enhance the services we already provide to millions of customers by providing rapid parcel delivery that will also increase the overall safety and efficiency of the transportation system. Putting Prime Air into service will take some time, but we will deploy when we have the regulatory support needed to realize our vision.” Amazon drones are currently advertised as being able to carry packages up to five pounds, so it’s true that the current drones being tested can’t carry much weight. Amazon drones can fly for 15 miles, according to Amazon’s latest video. It’s conceivable that the drones could fly farther.
The new drones feature at least some degree of sense-and-avoid technology and once it arrives at its intended location, it’ll scan the area and look for a landing spot. Right now, it looks like users will be able to mark this spot in their yard, for example, with an Amazon logo. The drone then lands, drops off the package and takes off again.
When will I be able to choose Prime Air as a delivery option?
We will deploy when and where we have the regulatory support needed to safely realize our vision. We’re excited about this technology and one day using it to deliver packages to customers around the world in 30 minutes or less.
How will it work?
Amazon Prime Air is a future service that will deliver packages up to five pounds in 30 minutes or less using small drones. Flying under 400 feet and weighing less than 55 pounds, Prime Air vehicles will take advantage of sophisticated “sense and avoid” technology, as well as a high degree of automation, to safely operate beyond the line of sight to distances of 10 miles or more.
Jeremy Clarkson Shows Off New Amazon Prime Air Drone Deliveries
Amazon also says that this isn’t the final design for Prime Air and that the retailer is testing as many as a dozen different design prototypes intended for different uses.
How will Amazon integrate Prime Air vehicles into the airspace?
We believe the airspace is safest when small drones are separated from most manned aircraft traffic, and where airspace access is determined by capabilities. To learn more, view our airspace proposals here and here.