As more and more people order from online retailer Amazon, the company have announced plans for Amazon Prime Air, a drone delivery option for customer orders.
To say that Amazon’s popularity has caused mass changes in the commerce space is an understatement. Originally being a massively popular hub for consumers in the market for books, which led to high street book retailers rethinking their sales strategies due to how many people were turning to the website for purchases, Amazon have since expanded their catalogue of online wares to other low ticket items like clothing all the way to big budget products such as games consoles and televisions. Headed up by Chief Executive, Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s market sphere even encompasses the world of gadgets, with Amazon Kindle tablets being a massively popular eReader. Their plans to innovate don’t end there, however, as the retailer have now announced plans to build a fleet of delivery drones.
Currently, Amazon Prime is a service that offers two day shipping on many products that they sell, for a fee. This next extension of deliveries, called Amazon Prime Air, could get packages to customers in under 30 minutes. Half an hour is the goal, but the Amazon page announcing Prime Air, states that the drones used would aim to shoot under that 30 minute delivery time, meaning that you wouldn’t have to wait long after checkout to get your order. Bezos explains that the drones, called Octocopters, “can carry objects, [they] think, up to five pounds (2.3kg), which covers 86% of the items that [Amazon] deliver.”
Roadblocks, however, lay in terms of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), whose regulations are currently preventing Amazon from launching Prime Air. Amazon say that the FAA are “actively working on rules for unmanned aerial vehicles”, saying that they hope that the rules will be in place by 2015. Meanwhile, Dr. Darren Ansell, an expert on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) from the University of Central Lancashire cites other problems for Amazon to consider such as the “security of the goods during the transit.” explaining that “With no one to guard them the aircraft and package could be captured and stolen,” a valid point that those ordering goods for delivery by Amazon Prime Air will want to consider. However, while laws and safety issues may hold Amazon back, the retailer says that “from a technology point of view, [they will] be ready to enter commercial operations as soon as the necessary regulations are in place.”
You can watch a below video of Amazon Prime Air being explained.
We’ll keep you posted once we know more.