Amazon has successfully completed its first drone delivery
By CHARLES MCQUAID | Current affairs | 15 December 2016

Amazon Prime Air courtesy of Amazon

Top image: Amazon Prime Air courtesy of Amazon.

It’s been three years since Amazon first revealed its audacious plan to make deliveries using drones. Yesterday this vision become reality when the company revealed that it has made the first drone-powered delivery in Cambridge.

The order was placed and took just thirteen minutes to arrive from the custom-built fulfilment centre nearby. Only two customers are lucky enough to experience Amazon Prime Air at the moment, but in the coming months Amazon will offer participation to dozens of customers living close to the facility and have plans to expand further.

This beta programme is, of course, limited. Amazon is collecting data and customer feedback to expand the trial and improve the service. At the moment Amazon is currently permitted to only operate during daylight hours when there are low winds and good visibility, but not in rain, snow or icy conditions. 

The safety of drones has undergone scrutiny in recent months but Amazon maintains that: “Safety is our top priority. Our vehicles will be built with multiple redundancies, as well as sophisticated ‘sense and avoid’ technology.”.

What once seemed science fiction is starting to become reality. Progress may seem slow but one day, seeing drone delivery vehicles will be a very normal occurrence. Amazon will not be the only company that plans to exploit this growing market. Emergency services have also been looking at the uses of drones in their field, they already using them for search and rescue operations, tracking criminals and are looking to use them in terrorist scenarios in the future. 

Amazon Prime Air courtesy of Amazon


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