By: Nick Gambino
We’ve known Amazon drone deliveries have been in the works for quite a while. In fact, the tech giant even got approval from the FAA to start using drones to deliver their packages back in August of this year. Amazon Prime Air is now in full effect in both California and Texas.
They are specifically delivering by drone in Lockeford, CA and College Station, TX. Prime users in those towns won’t see bikes and other large items being dropped from the sky, but if they order something that’s under five pounds, there’s a good chance they’ll receive a visit from a flying robot. Apparently about 85 percent of Amazon deliveries weigh less than five pounds.
“The drone will fly to the designated delivery location, descend to the customer’s backyard, and hover at a safe height,” Amazon stated in a blog post. “It will then safely release the package and rise back up to altitude.”
Users who are residents in either of those two towns have to opt in to receive drone deliveries. Once they sign up, Amazon has to do their due diligence and make sure they can actually deliver to that address safely.
The idea is to expand the program (obviously), so this is only the beginning. Once they conquer these two towns (weird choice of words?), they’ll most likely move to others in California and Texas and then across the country. They have to take their time because if they’re not doing it safely, public and political outrage will stop the program in its tracks.
These drones are autonomous so you could run into some issues there. Though their internal programming is designed to help avoid things like power lines, you have to make sure it’s a hundred percent on point before releasing it into the world. As part of the test in these two towns, they’re going to have humans visually monitoring each drone.
Another thing that could be pretty annoying is a large fleet of loud drones flying overhead. To deal with that issue Amazon is using MK27-2 drones that are designed to be as quiet as possible.
We’ll keep an eye on how this new drone delivery program shakes out. It’s got potential, but I can also foresee plenty of hiccups and bumps along the way.
Will you be trying out Amazon Prime Air? Let us know in the comments below.