Amazon recently completed its first real-life delivery using its Amazon Prime Air drone. The flight took place on December 7 and was fully autonomous, delivering a customer’s goods in just 13 minutes. We live in the future, folks.
The delivery was made during a private customer trial in Cambridge, England, Amazon said. The company has faced regulation issues in the United States with the FAA, though hopes to have some of those resolved in the future when it should theoretically begin these sorts of deliveries in additional areas. Customers in Cambridge are able to pick from “thousands of items” that are stored in a nearby fulfillment center, so long as they weigh enough to be carried by the drone.
When the order is received, it’s loaded up into a drone and sent out to make the delivery. The drone is capable of flying up to 15 miles, but Amazon says other versions are being built that can carry different payloads and cover larger distances, delivering all sorts of goods from dog food to soccer shoes.
Imagine one day sitting in your kitchen, preparing your morning coffee, only to realize you don’t have any creamer left. It’s pouring out, so there’s no way you’re going to jump in the car. Don’t drink the coffee black? Maybe just order it from Amazon, knowing that it’ll arrive just minutes later, still cold from the fridge. It sounds like science fiction, but it isn’t. Indeed, the videos in this post prove it’s already very, very possible.
“These drones are autonomous,” Amazon explained. “From take off to landing and return, they operate completely on their own, cruising quietly below 400 feet carrying packages up to 5 pounds and guided by GPS.”
Amazon Prime Air is still in beta, but it works!
Amazon still says this is a beta test and is only starting with two customers. It hopes to expand to dozens of customers and then “hundreds more.” Amazon says the “sky’s the limit,” suggesting that it soon hopes to make this sort of delivery process available to everyone. I can’t wait for this sort of delivery system to launch around the globe.
Check out the videos below: