American online retailer Amazon is testing drone deliveries for small packages. The goal is to deliver these packages within 30 minutes, and that nationwide in the United States.
Packages weighing less than 2 kilo
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos explained on American television that 86 % of Amazon packages weigh less than 5 pounds (just over 2 kilo). A drone should be able to carry these with ease. Seattle is currently the testing ground for a pilot project.
The service Amazon Prime Air would use drones to deliver packages in a 10 mile (16 km) radius around a distribution centre. That would make Amazon the first company to deliver using drones on a national scale: current ‘delivery by drone’ tests are focusing on local distribution.
Bezos admitted the plan is only in a conceptual stage right now and that a legal framework needs to be put in place. One of the issues is to avoid accidents with drones, even though Bezos is confident that package-filled drones will be flying around in the near future. Seeing how fast the evolution of drones has been going these past few years, he could well be right...
(Translated by Gary Peeters)