Amazon To Deliver Packages Via Drone Later This Year

The online retailer has released a new video of its latest electric-powered delivery drone. In the video we get a better idea of how the aircraft are being tested alongside some other notable tidbits.

Amazon Drone test flight screenshot
Would you receive your package by drone if you could? © Credit to Amazon

Amazon made a lot of buzz when it announced plans of delivering its packages by drone back in 2013. Nearly a decade later and Amazon’s fleet of delivery drones is nowhere to be seen.

That said, the brand recently released a new video (included below) showing its latest electric-powered delivery drone in flight and information on how the aircraft is currently being built and tested.

What’s more, the company aims to start the first US drone deliveries of customer packages in areas across the States, including Lockeford, California and College Station later this year. Packages will be delivered by Prime Air drones via the backyards of customer homes.

Do keep in mind that these drones won’t carry passengers as they will only be able to deliver packages weighing around 5 lbs or less, meaning getting large furniture won’t be an option for this particular mode of delivery, unfortunately.

Amazon has said to have taken “an aerospace approach” to the development of its drone fleet, despite its drones only carrying objects, not people. Thanks to the video we know that Amazon has been focused on three main components for the design of its Prime Air drones.

These three main components consist of:

  • The Body of the drone itself
  • The brains behind the autonomous flight systems
  • And the “rules of the sky”

The latter is an important component for the operation of drones, which must be programmed into its flight systems. The e-commerce brand is said to be developing an automated drone-management system to plan flight paths and ensure there are safe distances between its aircraft and others when in flight.

Design-wise, the drones have been developed by a team of experts specialising in safety, aerospace, robotics, science, hardware, and software. Its design is said to be able to handle the challenges of everyday use as a commercial product.

The brains of the drone include a highly-sophisticated “sense and avoid system,” one capable of avoiding any obstacles or hazards both in the air and on the ground.

Amazon’s Prime Air drones are currently being tested at a dedicated flight testing facility in Oregon. It’s here that Amazon has made over 188 updates to its system, improving such things as noise and equipment ergonomics.

Amazon says that that its Oregon team has logged thousands of flight ours with these drones, which is sure to increase yet again.

Check out Amazon’s video below:

What did you think of the video? Are you hopeful that Amazon can make its drone delivery system a reality, or is it simply a pipedream? Give us your thoughts regardless.

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