Amazon drones to hover in your backyards and drop off packages within 30 minutes
Amazon vice president Paul Misener has 'lifted' the cover from Prime Air drones that are soon to set the skies abuzz with express deliveries. The drones are meant to carry anything within 5 lbs and drop it off in your backyard within 30 minutes of ordering.
Misener, expertly fielded all the questions posed to him by Yahoo Tech's reporter and provided some insight into how Amazon is rapidly gaining speed with this project. He is confident that "these Prime Air drones will be as normal as seeing a delivery truck driving down the street someday" and that people will stop trying to disengage its flight in any way as the novelty wears off.
However, a couple of criteria have to be met for a successful 30-minute delivery - a range of over 10 miles and items weighing up to 5 lbs. Since most of the Amazon products weight 5 lbs or less, the latter is taken care of. The drones will also fly through the "transit zone", states Inverse, which is between 200 and 400 feet. However, the details need to be worked out properly in order to be approved by The Federal Aviation Administration.
Paul Misener says that the Prime Air team at Amazon - comprising aeronautical engineers, roboticists, and a former NASA astronaut - understands that the same kind of drones won't operate in diverse landscapes. The drone sent to the dry and arid Phoenix would differ from the one sent to the wet and humid Orlando. The team is currently tackling the sound issue, having taken care of the highly likely possibilities of these air-borne machines running into trees or street lights, with a sense-and-avoid technology.
Engadget confirms this fact in the vice president's statement, "These drones are more like horses than cars - and let me explain why. If you have a small tree in your front yard, and you want to bang your car into it for some reason, you can do that. Your spouse might not be happy with you, but you can do it. But try riding a horse into the tree. It won't do it. The horse will see the tree and go around it. Same way our drones will not run into trees, because they will know not to run into it."
While delivering in houses seem like a no-brainer, the online retailer is yet to work out the urban scene of high-rise apartments. However, Misener dismisses all fears regarding huge technological, geological, and geographical barriers the company might face. He says the automation processes are well in place, and they are simply testing if everything is working as it should, to ensure safety. The company is more concerned about the regulatory issues.
There is still a lot of work to do before these amazing machines go 'on air' and revolutionize the concept of shopping completely. Amazon is currently working with NASA on its prototypes. They are optimistic about the launch and hope that the United States may be the first country to get the much-hyped drone service, although that may not happen as they have customers all over the world.
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