Attention shoppers: Your next Amazon delivery may come from the skies.
Safety is of utmost concert for any drone and Amazon says its new Prime Air drone can identify static objects using sensors and advanced algorithms. This model is capable of vertical takeoffs and landings like a helicopter, can fly like an airplane, and may one day bring packages directly to customers. Wilke, Amazon's worldwide consumer CEO, said he expects the Amazon Prime Air delivery service to grow quickly thanks to Amazon's existing delivery infrastructure.
Amazon said Wednesday that it plans to use self-piloted drones to deliver packages to shoppers' home in the coming months. Before drone delivery of consumer goods can be implemented throughout the USA, more testing requirements and regulatory hurdles will have to be overcome. In April, a subsidiary of search giant Google won approval from the FAA to make drone deliveries in parts of Virginia.
The drone's rotors give it six degrees of freedom (compared to four for a normal quadcopter), allowing for more dynamic and nimble flight.
The certificate is for one year and can be renewed, the FAA said. Packages for delivery are then carried in the fuselage in the middle. Electric drones may provide a more environmentally friendly alternative to road-based deliveries, which typically feature gas or diesel vehicles.
The drone needs a small area around the delivery location that is clear of people, animals, or obstacles. It's even smart enough to detect wires/cables in a person's backyard.
Gur Kimchi, Amazon's VP for its Prime Air program, told the press, "The most important thing the aircraft can do is make the correct safe decision when it's exposed to an event that isn't in the planning - that it has never been programmed for".
On that last topic, Mr Bezos said he wanted to provide foundational space technology for start-ups to build on for low cost, noting that Amazon was only possible because it was able to distribute through the US Postal Service.
Amazon is looking for new ways to improve on the delivery times.
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