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Amazon Announces Development Of “PrimeAir” Drone Delivery

Submitted by on December 2, 2013 – 9:05 amNo Comment

It sounds like science fiction, and it’s not reality yet, but this is no early April Fools’ joke: Amazon announced yesterday that it has been developing 30-minute delivery by unmanned aerial drones, and hopes to introduce the service within five years.

“It will work and it will happen, and it’s gonna be a lot of fun,” Amazone Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos told CBS’s Charlie Rose.

Rose was visibly shocked when he saw the custom-made octocopters for the first time. Bezos and company had kept the venture a closely guarded secret until revealing it to the 60 Minutes team.

The company also released a demo video showing the concept:

However, Amazon’s drive for delivery dominance has been no secret. The company has already found that subscription memberships like Prime that offer better service for a yearly fee easily encourage users to spend more. And with trial programs like Amazon Fresh (grocery delivery), the company was finding ways to deliver everything, ensuring greater customer loyalty and decreasing the need to use other retailers.

But Amazon’s same day, or even same hour, delivery was stymied by what’s known as the “last mile problem.” In many distribution networks (including delivery, and also telecommunications), the “last mile” of getting something directly to a consumer is often the most difficult part of the system. In other words, Amazon has little trouble getting goods from warehouses to local distribution centers, but it could not reliably use trucks to transport those goods to specific homes on a day’s notice.

In this sense, drones are an ingenious way of solving the final mile problem.

Even more pressing than technical aspects is approval from the Federal Aviation Administration. Amazon says it is waiting for the FAA to unveil guidelines for unmanned civilian drone flight in the US to ensure safety.

What do you think- would you use Amazon PrimeAir? Let us know in the Comments.


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