Amazon claims first successful drone delivery in just 13 minutes
Amazon completed its first successful drone delivery last week in Cambridge in flat 13 minutes of placing the order. The delivery was made as part of the beta testing for Amazon's Prime Air service that claims to deliver packages up to five pounds (2.6 kg) in 30 minutes or less using small drones.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos tweeted earlier in the day that the company completed its first drone delivery. Amazon also released a video of the delivery, which showed the process involved behind the delivery. The first order that the drone delivered was an Amazon Fire Stick streaming device and a bag of popcorn, according to the video.
The breakthrough makes it evident that aerial delivery is at the verge of becoming a reality in the times to come. The only constraint as of now is that the customer must either have a huge lawn for the drone to land or simply live close to a pre-assigned delivery depot. Prime Air drones find their way to their customers via GPS.
Amazon in its Prime FAQs page said that it plans to use customer feedback and data gathered from this test to expand Prime Air to more people over time. The service is available to just two customers right now, and will expand to "dozens of customers" over the coming months, as long as they're close to its facility.
In July this year, an official Amazon blog post said that a cross-government team supported by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had provided Amazon with permissions to explore three key innovations: beyond line of sight operations in rural and suburban areas, testing sensor performance to make sure the drones can identify and avoid obstacles, and flights where one person operates multiple highly-automated drones.
Amazon has Prime Air development centers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Austria and Israel and has been testing the vehicles in multiple international locations.