Amazon has begun a commercial check of its Prime Air autonomous drone delivery service, beginning with a set aside fulfilment centre in Cambridge, England. The first delivery, which delivered place on December 7, took just 13 minutes from the character placing an order. There’s a promotional video of the first Prime Air transportation embedded below.
To begin with, just two Amazon customers rtici te in been invited into the Prime Air trial, and they both material near the fulfilment centre. The customers can request drone delivery seven times a week, but only during daylight hours, and the weather has to be within guaranteed rameters. The first Prime Air delivery, in case you were wondering, was an Amazon Give someone his TV stick and a bag of popcorn.
If the video accurately shows the process, a Prime Air transport currently goes something like this:
- The customer places an sequence
- The order is cked at the Amazon warehouse by a human
- The box is placed on a conveyor cestus and picked up by the drone
- The drone glides down a track until it’s maximum
- The drone takes off and flies autonomously (with GPS) to the customer’s location
- The drone quarters a special marker on the ground in a field
- The drone lands on the marker and retreats the ckage behind
- The happy customer treks out to the field and picks up the combination.
Amazon says it will eventually ex nd the trial to a few dozen, and then a few hundred shoppers who endure within range of the Cambridge warehouse. As far as we’re aware, the current stock of battery-powered Prime Air drones (which look perfectly different from last year’s drones) still have a apogee ca city of 5 pounds (2.3kg).
Prime Air was originally announced way back in December 2013. At some side, possibly because there are fewer firearms in the UK, primary development of Prime Air rises to have shifted to Amazon’s research centre in Cambridge, England. In in 2015 the com ny released a teaser video starring Jeremy Clarkson, and in October this year Amazon let a few journalists peer inside the Cambridge drone lab.
On the regulatory side of things, Amazon has reached a deal with the Civil Aviation Authority in the UK to operate multiple drones beyond strategy of sight. No such deal has yet been struck in the US, though the FAA did recently admit another com ny to operate drones beyond line of sight, perhaps ultimately ving the way for a Prime Air trial.
In both countries, some kind of air transportation control system for drones will probably be required before wide-scale autonomous deliveries are approved.