Amazon reveals plans to deliver packages using autonomous drones

By on December 1, 2013, 9:35 PM

Amazon was featured in a segment on CBS News' magazine program 60 Minutes on Sunday evening. Not wanting to miss a prime (no pun intended) advertising opportunity, CEO Jeff Bezos showed off a concept the company is working on known as Amazon Prime Air.

The futuristic service will employ octocopter “drones” to deliver packages up to five pounds in weight right to your doorstep. Each drone will be able to deliver a shipment within 10 miles of one of Amazon’s 96 fulfillment center which could have a huge impact in densely populated urban areas.

The company promises to deliver said packages within half an hour, all without the aid of a physical courier. The autonomous vehicles will fly to and from target addresses using pre-set GPS coordinates. If successful, it could allow Amazon to save money on their workforce and make the company even more environmentally friendly.

It’s a big undertaking and as you might expect, we won’t be seeing a fleet of Amazon drones take to the sky anytime soon. Bezos noted there is a lot of technical stuff to work out first in terms of redundancy, reliability and safety. After all, you don’t want a drone landing on someone’s head while they are walking around their neighborhood, he said.

Bezos didn’t give an exact timeline but suggested we could drones take flight within the next three to five years. That should give the company plenty of time to work with the FAA to make Amazon Prime Air a reality.

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