Amazon does first successful Prime Air drone delivery

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Twinkle Sahita

On December 14 Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, announced on Twitter the first ever successful commercial delivery by PrimeAir, a delivery system from Amazon designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles, also called drones. According to Bezos, the first commercial delivery took only 13 minutes from click to delivery. This was completed successfully on December 7 near Cambridge in England.

A customer named Richard B ordered Amazon Fire TV (shocker) and some popcorn on a tablet, and a “Prime Air fulfillment centre” just around the corner from his house received the order. A person boxed the items up and pushed it on to the automated track before the drone picked it up and then lifted off to the destination for delivery.

From takeoff and landing to return, these drones operate completely on their own, flying below 400 feet, and carrying packages weighing 5 pounds or less. The drone, which has horizontal orientation, scans the landing area before it approaches the destination.

Back in the house, Richard gets the message - ‘Your Prime Air delivery is arriving’.

It looks like science fiction, but it's real. One day, seeing Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road.

The company has Prime Air development centres in the United States, the United Kingdom, Austria and Israel.

“We are testing the vehicles in multiple international locations,” says the e-commerce giant through a statement.

“We are currently permitted to operate during daylight hours when there are low winds and good visibility, but not in rain, snow or icy conditions. Once we’ve gathered data to improve the safety and reliability of our systems and operations, we will expand the envelope,” adds the company.

For Amazon, Safety remains top priority. “Our vehicles will be built with multiple redundancies, as well as sophisticated “sense and avoid” technology. Additionally, through our private trial in the UK, we will gather data to continue improving the safety and reliability of our systems and operations,” informs the company.

Amazon, the global online giant, has been testing its drone or unmanned aerial vehicles for commercial packet deliveries from its facility on the outskirts of Cambridge for more than a year. Amazon wants to use the drones to deliver packages to people's homes and offices in under 30 minutes. It claims the drones will be greener, cheaper, and safer than the vans that are currently used to deliver Amazon packages.

In July 2016 Amazon Prime Air cofounder Daniel Buchmueller said that the battery-powered vehicles can rise vertically like a helicopter up to 400 feet before flying up to 15 miles at speeds of 50mph. He said the company is creating 25kg drones that are highly automated and able to carry packages up to 2kg in weight, adding that there are more than a dozen prototypes already made.

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