Amazon Chief, Jeff Bezos, recently revealed that the first drone delivery had taken place; to the factory neighbour.
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In Cambridge, England, the package was delivered via drone on December 7th in an industry first. Amazon proudly tweeted that they’d completed the first ever drone delivery and it took them just 13 minutes to have the item shipped from warehouse to customer. What they didn’t publicize is that the delivery address in question was the next-door neighbor of the test center where the drone took off. It was in fact 795 yards away and you could have walked the distance in less time.
Drone deliveries have been spoken about for a while now, and Amazon announced the news as though they had broken a barrier and were about to start doing all deliveries this way. Unfortunately, their drones won’t fly in rain, ice or strong winds, which rules out 90% of the year in the United Kingdom.
The parcel contained an Amazon Fire TV box and a bag of popcorn, and was delivered to the neighbor of Amazon’s drone testing site in Cambridge. It successfully flew 400m in the air, over 1 field.
‘First-ever Amazon Prime Air customer delivery is in the books. 13 min – click to delivery.’ – Jeff Bezos
A choreographed video was released showing the takeoff and landing, and a happy ‘Richard B’ who ordered the package. The order form arrived at the Amazon Air fulfillment center, and the package was swiftly loaded. The drone then took off and landed 13 minutes later at the recipients address. An investigation revealed this was the neighbor of the test center.
‘It is early days but the drone delivery worked. It took just 13 minutes from when I placed the order.’ – Richard B, test customer.
Whilst this development is exciting news for the drone industry, and worrying for traditional delivery companies, Amazon has some way to go before this becomes the norm. They have spent millions trying to work around the rules and regulations regarding the method of transport and they have campaigned with the Civil Aviation Authority to loosen the restrictions. Currently they do not need a license as they would in the US, but they do require permission before every single flight.
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