Amazon’s technology of delivering packages using drones could be hugely beneficial for customers who want their purchased items dropped off as quickly as possible. Moreover, drone-assisted deliveries would be valuable for Amazon as it could help them save money on deliveries.
Notwithstanding the easiness drones could bring, the company needs to tackle a number of regulatory issues. Amazon has been conducting research and development regarding drone-assisted deliveries, and recently unveiled a hybrid delivery drone that can fly both horizontally and vertically to drop packages.
An FAQ on the PrimeAir website says, “We are testing many different vehicle designs and delivery mechanisms to discover how best to deliver packages in a variety of environments. We have more than a dozen prototypes that we’ve developed in our research and development labs. The look and characteristics of the vehicles will evolve over time.”
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The drone is equipped with eight rotors that help the device fly upwards like a helicopter. A blade towards the back of the drone propels the device forward. It can travel a distance of 15 miles at a speed of 50 miles per hour. The retail giant said it was working on several prototype unmanned aerial vehicles.
Amazon intends to use drones to drop off and deliver packages that do not weigh in excess of five pounds in locations not more than 10 to 15 miles from the company’s warehouses. The drones, which will fly at a height of 400 feet, will use a “sense and avoid” technology that will help detect an obstacle in the way. The time between purchase and pickup of an item would take just 30 minutes, as reported by the Verge.
While the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration does not permit drones to be flown outside the line of sight, Amazon is striving to build unmanned aerial devices that will function semi-autonomously inside air traffic lanes, according to iT News.