Amazon Drone Delivery and Prime Air: The Future of Fast Shipping

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Imagine ordering a new pair of sandals and receiving them at your front door hours later. This is the future with Amazon’s new drone delivery service.

Drone delivery is the next step for the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon. These remote-controlled aircraft will be the force behind Prime Air, the Amazon drone initiative that will deliver goods to customers in 30 minutes or less.

When Amazon introduced its one-day delivery program, stunned consumers believed it to be the pinnacle of efficient delivery. But now, Amazon has raised its bar even higher by unveiling its drone design at the re:MARS Conference in Las Vegas. This drone flies up to 15 mph, delivering lightweight packages weighing under five pounds to customers.

The unique features of this drone begin with its hybrid capabilities. Amazon drones can perform vertical takeoffs and landings like helicopters, but they still fly horizontally like planes. AI technology sensors allow them to fly swiftly without endangering other aircraft, civilians, or property. Amazon anticipates that uninformed customers may be apprehensive of the new technology, which is why they’ve crafted their drones to be completely autonomous. This means that the drones can respond independently, mid-flight, to unexpected changes in the flight course.

There are two main stages of Amazon drone delivery: the transit and the landing. In order to fly safely, drones must be able to identify incoming objects from all directions. Amazon’s algorithms and sensors enable these drones to do this most effectively. These same AI algorithms also ensure the drones can land precisely and safely in locations clear of obstacles including wires, clothesline, shrubbery, animals, and people.
In addition to providing seamless customer experiences, the drones reflect Amazon’s sustainability initiative that promises to reduce carbon emissions to zero. By 2030, Amazon hopes that 50% of all its shipments will be completely carbon-free.

However, Amazon drone delivery still faces an uncertain future. Aircraft manufacturers spend years approving new drone designs and technologies to ensure they’re in line with security and safety concerns. Amazon’s drone presents new challenges for regulators, as its unique features have no standards in drone safety and will need to be properly evaluated. Luckily, the Federal Aviation Administration has issued the drone prototype a certificate for research and development in authorized flight areas.



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