Jeff Bezos, founder and chairman of Amazon, conducted several interviews over the last few days that revealed a new delivery service that would feature unmanned aircrafts. The whole point of delivering packages by drone would be to speed up the process, sometimes guaranteeing delivery in just a few hours.
Amazon is currently working with the Federal Aviation Administration on new airspace rules so that its drone delivery service would be perfectly acceptable when the company is ready to launch, which wouldn’t be until 2015 at the very earliest.
Bezos talked about the experimental drone-based delivery service in a recent “60 Minutes” segment. You can see a video of the drone in action here. The working title is Amazon Prime Air. It is currently being tested on a very limited and controlled basis.
When I first heard the announcement, I thought this was one big joke. Then I asked a few of my friends who work at Amazon if this was for real. They confirmed that this was a very important initiative for Amazon because they want to figure out a way to provide deliveries almost instantaneously.
Bezos said the octo-copter drones could carry objects of up to five pounds within a ten-mile radius of an Amazon distribution center. The e-commerce company has been deliberately building distribution centers all over the country. The drone aircrafts would fly from each distribution center after receiving a recipient’s location.
This story does seem like fantasy, but you can count on it in our lifetime.