Amazon Demonstrates Drone Delivery Service

December 2, 2013  - By


Amazon has unveiled its plans for a new Prime Air service that uses drone helicopters to deliver customers’ orders in as little as 30 minutes.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in an interview on 60 Minutes on Sunday that the drones would be ready to take flight in four to five years. But an Amazon spokesperson pointed to an updated post on the company’s website promising aerial deliveries as soon as federal rules change, which could be as soon as 2015.

In his November column, Professional OEM Editor Tony Murfin discusses the need for FAA rule changes that would allow commercial use of drones. Survey Scene Editor Eric Gakstatter also discusses the issue here.

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6 Comments on "Amazon Demonstrates Drone Delivery Service"

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  1. JJM says:

    “to deliver customers’ orders in as little as 30 minutes” as if we all have an Amazon warehouse just around the corner??
    I’ll stick with standard ground transport when I consider cost to deliver 1 small item into a vicinity. And more so, because I do not want to invite unknown eyes, ears and any other sensors to my front door, back door, poolside or bedroom window. But then again, maybe some skeet shooting could come in handy?

  2. Hal Adams says:

    This is likely a technically feasible demo, however what about line of sight control issues? Beyond visual range control will really drive up the cost. How about “reliable” GPS PVT, which non-aerospace grade GPS currently do not provide? Even aerospace with GPS PVT, getting the right house and door is problematic and dependent on a really reliable nav mgmt system, flight control as well as on-site decision making. Just ask your local SWAT teams. And, if terminally guided by a device, system such as a camera & operator, there is the privacy issue. Will they insure that the platform will not hit something or someone with assurances to the same degree of safety assurance as manned aircraft standards? Maybe remote delivery, but built up urban areas are another matter; noise, safety, privacy, cost. However, with a lot of political leverage and friends in high places …

    • Eric Gakstatter says:

      I agree there are a tremendous number of regulatory, safety and logistical issues with this. I think it’s more of a marketing ploy by Amazon for exposure than anything else.

  3. Alexandre Charland says:

    There is too many security issues! That will not be available for many many years!!!

    But it is Christmas shopping time and this is a very good free pub for Amazone! đŸ˜‰

    To me, it’s only a marketing push!

    • Eric Gakstatter says:

      I agree

      • JJM says:

        I think you all have calmed my concerns a good deal and I agree in the Marketing Ploy. Again, the delivery charge would have to be pretty large for something needed Immediately, and in that case I would personally Drive to pick up a critically needed item rather than risk delivery problems (wrong address, damage, crash), wrong item, etc.
        Think, when time available, will begin a complaint campaign with Amazon for their foolishness.