Amazon Serious About Flying Drones Delivery Service

Dennis Faas's picture

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's ... an Amazon drone delivering my Battlestar Galactica DVDs!

Amazon says it's testing aerial drones capable of delivering packages to customers in less than an hour. However, it remains unclear how people will respond to the idea of having a small robot hovering at their front door.

Amazon chief executive officer Jeff Bezos showed off the concept, tentatively called Amazon 'Prime Air', during an interview with Charlie Rose on CBS' evening news show "60 Minutes". (Source:

Drones Use GPS to Deliver Small Packages

Prime Air uses eight-propellor drones that are roughly the size of a large laser printer. Bezos says the devices are capable of carrying packages no larger than a shoe box, meaning they could be used to transport the many media items -- like DVDs, Blu-rays, video games, and music albums -- purchased through the online retailer.

Bezos says such deliveries could be made in as little as half an hour. To get to their target the drones use global positioning system (GPS) technology.

Of course, there's still a long ways to go before Amazon Prime Air drones take to the skies. The retailer is currently working with the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to get clearance for the devices.

Bezos suggests that it could be five years before testing is complete and the FAA grants permission to start using the service.

Not "Science Fiction", Bezos Says

The Amazon CEO acknowledges that the whole idea will seem preposterous to many people, but insists that his firm is very serious about the matter.

"I know this looks like science fiction -- it's not," Bezos said. (Source:

To prove that this is no laughing matter, Bezos pointed to the emergence of similar drone-based delivery systems in China and Australia.

Clearly, Amazon envisions a Jetsons-like future where delivery services save time by avoiding the traffic congestion often seen in dense urban environments.

"One day, Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today," Amazon notes on its website. "Our vehicles will be built with multiple redundancies and designed to commercial aviation standards." (Source:

You can see a video of the Amazon drone in action by clicking here.

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