By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 14 June 2022 • 14:04
Amazon Prime Air Drone - Image Amazon
The announcement made overnight on June 13 will see Prime customers in Lockeford, California start receiving their deliveries by drone rather than the traditional driver drop.
Amazon which has trialled the method and who are looking to expand drone deliveries across the US and other parts of the world will only make some products available for delivery using this method initially.
Customers will be able to select delivery by drone or driver, with the drone dropping the parcel in their backyard before returning to base, according to the company’s press release. Amazon hopes to attract around 1,300 customers before giving consideration to further expansion of the project.
Using a “sense-and-avoid system”, Amazon’s drones are able to spot both stationary and moving objects to avoid colliding with people, pets, other aircraft, and other obstacles. The drones course-correct if they identify obstacles in order to avoid them.
Importantly for customers, they are able to check that the surrounding area is clear for landing, before descending to drop the package off.
After a number of trials involving more than two dozen prototypes, the company has settled on a hexagonal shape for stability and propellers that are specifically designed to minimize high-frequency sound waves.
Importantly Amazon was given the all-clear by the FAA in 2020 but the implementation of Prime Air was delayed following a number of mishaps and accidents including setting a field on fire in Oregon.
Customers around the world will be watching the first Amazon Prime Air deliveries by drone with interest, although it is unlikely that clearance will be forthcoming in many countries for many years to come.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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