AMAZON PRIME AIR INTRODUCES DRONE DELIVERY - Will package delivery be accomplished in the future by air drones? It seems as though it is a real possibility and Amazon has developed a flying drone equipped with a camera and GPS tracker capable of carrying a package weighing up to 5 pounds-which accounts for about 85% of their sales.
How cool would it be to place an order online and have it delivered within thirty minutes or less after being processed? In order to qualify for this type of delivery you will need to live within a 10 mile radius of a distribution center, in a home not an apartment, and purchase a package within the weight and size limitations. While certain weather conditions may occasionally hamper delivery, it is still guaranteed to be faster than traditional ground shipping.
Amazon went public with this new endeavor earlier this week on television and although this was big news when it was announced, Amazon is not breaking new ground; other countries have toyed with the idea and China is already testing their air drone system known as SF Express. At present, this type of air delivery system in the US is still in its early stages and there are critical factors that need attention.
Security and safety concerns need to be addressed and the FAA is working on guidelines to protect the public from any possible misuse once drones are accepted as air vehicles; including invasion of privacy through surveillance and air space restrictions. Design limitations, construction materials and the drone’s capabilities are all going to be taken into consideration before they are allowed to take to the air, hopefully by 2015.
In contrast to the traveling drone, a hovering air drone is currently on the market with limited capabilities that can be bought for private use to shoot aerial footage of events like weddings or children’s sports, and is not subjected to the same scrutiny or standards.
When the hover drones first came out there was little concern regarding their use; however the circumstances brought into play with a commercial grade, traveling drone require a closer look and one can be sure that competing companies like UPS, FedEx and even the Postal Service will be watching to see how this is handled.
Other concerns voiced by consumers include: What will the cost be for this special service, will there be thieves knocking the drones out of the sky for the booty and what type of insurance or guarantee will be required in the event a package does not reach its destination or the drone malfunctions causing injury to persons or property? Amazon is looking for answers to these questions and more as any loopholes or mishaps will create their own publicity if an incident does occur.
One thing is for certain and that is the quicker delivery, the happier the customer and that means more money for the company.