If Amazon has its way, you’re future wait-time after purchasing merchandise from the online retailer may be faster than the pizza restaurant down the road.
Think minutes, not days.
Courtesy of Prime Air, Amazon is developing plans to utilize drones for delivery. And contrary to what you may be thinking, the concept isn’t that far away from reality.
In April, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted Amazon approval to continue testing their drone delivery system. And in June, Amazon received a patent for the delivery method.
While gaining government approval, the drones are being heavily restricted. The FAA has required the drones to fly no higher than 400 feet above ground and at rate no faster than 100 miles per hour. Additionally, the unmanned drones are required to be within the line of sight of the operator. Further, these tests are to be conducted with drones carrying packages weighing 5 pounds or less.
Initially, the drones will only be used in high-density population centers where Amazon already has an established presence. In select cities across the U.S., residents can place orders and have them delivered within an hour by a person. The drone system would eventually take these workers’ place.
A recent study by a New York-based firm suggested that delivery by drones could be accomplished for approximately $1, a significant savings based on the current delivery method. The study also noted that thousands of workers would be needed to operate the drone delivery system.
A timeline for the test or when drones may be used by Amazon for delivery has not yet been announced.
Amazon is not the only business currently researching or investigating the use of the drone delivery system. The United States Postal Service is also currently exploring options for drone delivery technology, too. This technology would be used in conjunction with delivery vehicles for postal employees and contractors.