Amazon's First Delivery via Drone Looks as Crazy as It Sounds
Amazon had long touted its drone delivery scheme, with CEO Jeff Bezos surmising that the bedrock of his e-commerce empire -- home delivery -- could one day become even more convenient through a roving fleet of drones. And that lofty goal has finally become reality, with the company completing its first beta-drone delivery to a lucky customer in the English countryside on December 7.
Bezos tweeted the announcement on Wednesday, calling the service Prime Air. Apparently, the contents of the delivery were an Amazon Fire TV and a bag of popcorn.
The company produced a video documenting the flight, which lasted a total of 13 minutes from the moment of purchase to landing. It shows what went into the process, which Amazon promises will take no longer than 30 minutes per delivery. The small drones, which are all autonomous and electric, are capable of carrying loads weighing up to 5 pounds.
Being that the company was initially snubbed by the Federal Aviation Administration, which barred it from testing its drone service in the United States, Prime Air has been using a warehouse located in Cambridge, England, to pilot its nascent drone program. Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority, it seems, is a lot cooler than the FAA, and is letting the company expand Prime Air to more customers -- possibly hundreds -- in the coming months.
Prime Air is still under a trial stage, the company notes in the video, so it isn’t like drones will be swarming the horizon with your holiday presents anytime soon. Although it is a good indication as to where Amazon would like to see itself in the near future: Your one-stop supermarket and e-commerce emporium, capable of getting you whatever you want in under 30 minutes, with the helping hand and propellers of drones in the sky.
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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Vice. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.