Amazon Prime Air: Drone delivery preps for takeoff in California

<strong>Amazon Prime Air: Drone delivery preps for takeoff in California</strong>

The goal of every invention is to make life easier, and Amazon’s drone delivery service will do just that.

The multinational technology company announced on Monday that it would begin using Amazon Prime Air to make customer deliveries.

Amazon Prime Air is a delivery service that employs drones to deliver customers’ items.

The company claims that this delivery service will use less than an hour to deliver packages weighing up to 5 pounds.

The first customers to have the option of Amazon drone deliveries will be Lockeford, California residents.

Amazon’s published statement states, “Lockeford residents will play an important role in defining the future.”

“Their feedback about Prime Air, with drones delivering packages in their backyards, will help us create a service that will safely scale to meet the needs of customers everywhere.”

Prime Air was first announced in 2013 during an hour-long interview with Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, and former CEO.

During the same year, Amazon stated that its Prime Air vehicles would one day be as “normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today.”

The company stated that drone delivery has long seemed like science fiction. Adding that, it had spent almost a decade trying to make it a reality.

Over the years, various hurdles and roadblocks have impeded Amazon’s ability to launch the project.

In April 2022, Bloomberg reported that the project was experiencing technical challenges, significant turnover, and safety considerations.

Bloomberg stated that the online retail company had spent more than $2 billion (€1.9 billion) on the project.

In 2020, the Federal Aviation Administration gave Amazon permission to launch Prime Air as a drone delivery service. 

Amazon’s Prime Air delivery system is straightforward.

When a customer places an order and chooses the Prime Air option, they receive an anticipated arrival time and a package progress tracker.

The drone travels safely by employing sense-and-avoid technology that helps it avoid obstacles like other objects, flying animals, and aircraft.

“As our drone descends to deliver the package into a customer’s backyard, the drone ensures that there’s a small area around the delivery location that’s clear of any people, animals, or other obstacles,” Amazon explained.

The drone drops the package and flies away as soon as it’s low enough. Not all items are eligible for Prime Air drone deliveries. But according to Amazon, more than a thousand daily items are eligible.

Other companies also want to tap into the drone delivery market, such as Walmart.

In May this year, Walmart stated that it planned to increase the reach of its DroneUp delivery network to 34 locations by the end of 2022.

According to Walmart, the delivery network could reach up to 4 million homes in six states: Arkansas, Utah, Florida, Arizona, Texas, and Virginia.

The retail company added that items such as diapers, Tylenol, and hot dog buns could be dropped off in half an hour.

In April, Google parent firm Alphabet revealed that its drone company Wing would begin a commercial drone delivery service in Dallas

A few retailers are collaborating with Wing to provide drone delivery services, including Walgreens.

Image by Thomas Ehrhardt from Pixabay