Amazon Octocopters Could Deliver Orders Within 30 Minutes, Awaits FAA Approval

Amazon, the largest Internet retailer in the world, is currently testing unmanned drones in an effort to deliver products within 30 minutes after customers place their orders.

According to Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, said the company will use Octocopters to deliver packages with a weight of 2.3kg or less the same day the customers place their orders.  However, he said it could be up to five years before the service starts.

The reason is that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has not approved any civilian use of unmanned drones.

Bezos said the drones appear like total science fiction but the idea is reality.   He said 86 percent of the items Amazon carries weighs 2.3kg or less (five pounds), which allows them to do the 30 minute delivery.

The Octocopter service will be known as Prime Air, and is on the heels of Amazon trying to increase its efficiency so it can continue to grow.

On Amazon’s website, there is a video that shows the drone picking a package up from the warehouse and delivering it to a customer’s home.

U.S. regulators will still need to give their “OK” before Amazon’s plan can move forward.  The FAA has approved drone use for government and police agencies, with approximately 1,400 permits being issued in the last few years.

By 2015, Civilian air space may also include drone use, and by 2016, it’s expected for Europe.

Dr. Darren Ansell, a University of Central Lancashire expert on unmanned aerial vehicles, said regulations are set to reduce the chances of injury to people on the ground. He said the UAVs have no awareness about their environment and could fly into people. UAVs would be delivering products to customers who live in densely popular cities and towns.

Ansell said good security is another issue. After all, nobody is guarding the package, which could get into the wrong hands.

Amazon said technologically speaking, the company is ready for commercial operations once the regulations necessary for it to occur is in place.  The company was hoping to get a green light by 2015.

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Posted by on Dec 2 2013. Filed under Business, New. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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