Amazon Completes Its First-Ever Commercial Drone Delivery in the U.K in Just 13 Minutes

16 Dec

By Anmol Sachdeva, The Tech Portal

Amazon is looking to enhance your shopping experience one step at a time. Post the introduction of its walk-in ‘Amazon Go’ store which is the future of shopping, the e-commerce behemoth has today made it to the skies. The company had previously shared its ambitious vision of completing deliveries using unmanned drones but no one was aware of the gravity of the same.

But, Amazon has today achieved a major milestone by successfully completing its first drone-powered delivery. As shown in the promotion video of the service, the warehouse workers packaged a Fire TV and a bag of popcorn into a black box and that’s the only human interaction required with the product. The rest of the delivery process is completely automated and requires the workers to just provide the geolocation of the customer and the drone takes off with the product.

The company has promised to deliver your order within 30 minutes, whereas the very first order in the vicinity of Cambridge took a mere 13 minutes. These delivery quadcopter drones can carry products weighing no more than 5 pounds while being guided by GPS and flying below 400 feet. Also, the drones are only allowed to complete deliveries during daylight hours when its particularly sunny — no operations in rain, snow or even hail.

Amazon is conducting its commercial drone tests in the U.K because of stringent flight regulations in the United States. Here, the company has the freedom to operate drones beyond the line of sight and that too, more than one at a particular instant of time. The founder and CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos expressed his excitement for the successful flight on Twitter. Here is what he shared:

Talking more about the drone delivery program, Amazon mentions that the Cambridge beta program has been in the works for a long time and the company is operating a secret lab out of the area as well. Other such labs working on prototypes of Prime Air drone delivery service have also popped up in the US, Austria, and Israel. So one can expect to see pilot programs for the same in these areas as well.

The announcement of a successful commercial delivery comes about three years after the company first announced plans to deliver orders to its customers using specially-programmed drones. There had previously also been speculation that Amazon might kick off its delivery test in India but flight regulations in our country are also not as relaxed as those in the U.K.

The company might have just completed two drone deliveries but is planning to expand the scope of their test beyond the roughly 5-square-mile area in the coming months. Wouldn’t be awesome to just tap on the item you want to purchase and see them arrive at your doorstep (or backyard) in moments? It’s fricking awesome.