Amazon drones: Amazon makes first US delivery, but regulators still limit flights

Retailer shows off Prime Air in the US, but delivery drones remain grounded by regulation

Amazon has shown off its Prime Air drone delivery service in the US, dropping off bottles of sunscreen to attendees of its own robotics conference in Florida.

The company has previously demonstrated the airborne drone delivery system here in the UK, where it's being trialled in Cambridge much to the irritation of some locals.

The demo was captured on video by The Verge, showing the quadcopter lowering over 20 seconds or so to a marked point in the grass, landing and releasing an Amazon parcel, before taking off to the sky as onlookers record the proceedings on smartphones. 

The report noted that Amazon said it was the first time one of its drones had dropped off a package in public, rather than on private property, thanks to assistance from the Federal Aviation Authority.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

So far, US regulators haven't given Amazon or its drone delivery rivals permission to fly parcels through the air, with most deliveries to date limited to carefully controlled trials.

15/12/2016: Amazon's first drone-delivered parcel 

Amazon's Prime Air delivery drone has made its first drop-off in Cambridge, to a test customer who lives close to the company's facility.

The items in that first shipment? The company's TV streaming dongle and a bag of popcorn.

The company's CEO Jeff Bezos said it took the drone 13 minutes to make the delivery, which surpassed its target of making air deliveries in 30 minutes.

"Prime Air has great potential to enhance the services we already provide to millions of customers by providing rapid parcel delivery that will also increase the overall safety and efficiency of the transportation system," Amazon said.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The company explained it will continue to test its air deliveries and will use the data to improve the service, including the reliability and safety of its systems and operations, while ensuring customers get the experience they expect.

"Safety will remain to be the company's top priority, Amazon explained. "Our vehicles will be built with multiple redundancies, as well as sophisticated "sense and avoid" technology. Additionally, through our private trial in the UK, we will gather data to continue improving the safety and reliability of our systems and operations."

Although the company hasn't revealed when Amazon Prime Air delivery will become a mainstream method of delivering packages, it said it will start giving customers the option when it has received regulatory approval.

"We are working with regulators and policymakers in various countries in order to make Prime Air a reality for our customers around the world, and expect to continue to do so," the company added.

Featured Resources

How inkjet can transform your business

Get more out of your business by investing in the right printing technology

Download now

Journey to a modern workplace with Office 365: which tools and when?

A guide to how Office 365 builds a modern workplace

Download now

Modernise and transform your sales organisation

Learn how a modernised sales process can drive your business

Download now

Your guide to managing cloud transformation risk

Realise the benefits. Mitigate the risks

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/technology/artificial-intelligence-ai/354710/amazon-to-help-businesses-develop-custom-voices-for
artificial intelligence (AI)

Amazon to help businesses develop custom voices for Alexa

5 Feb 2020
Visit/cloud/cloud-computing/354478/microsoft-has-an-edge-on-aws-according-to-it-executives
cloud computing

Microsoft has an edge on AWS, according to IT executives

8 Jan 2020
Visit/cloud/354231/the-it-pro-podcast-is-the-future-multi-cloud
Cloud

The IT Pro Podcast: Is the future multi-cloud?

29 Nov 2019

Most Popular

Visit/mobile/28299/how-to-use-chromecast-without-wi-fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

5 Feb 2020
Visit/security/34616/the-top-ten-password-cracking-techniques-used-by-hackers
Security

The top ten password-cracking techniques used by hackers

10 Feb 2020
Visit/operating-systems/microsoft-windows/354739/windows-7-bug-blocks-users-from-shutting-down-their-pcs
Microsoft Windows

Windows 7 bug blocks users from shutting down their PCs

10 Feb 2020
Visit/hardware/354723/coronavirus-starts-to-take-its-toll-on-the-tech-industry
Hardware

Coronavirus starts to take its toll on the tech industry

6 Feb 2020