January 18, 2016

Amazon drones for making deliveries within 30 minutes will be more common than delivery trucks and the novelty will wear off

Amazon Prime Air is a future delivery service that will get packages to customers within 30 minutes of them ordering it online at Amazon.com. The goals Amazon has set for ourselves are:

  • The range has to be over 10 miles.
  • These things will weigh about 55 pounds each, but they’ll be able to deliver parcels that weigh up to five pounds.

It turns out that the vast majority of the things we sell at Amazon weigh less than five pounds.

What if there’s some guy with a shotgun who sees that I’m getting a TV and wants to shoot it down?

I [Paul Misener, VP Public Policy] suppose they could shoot at trucks, too.

Amazon wants to make the deliveries. And they believe that these Prime Air drones will be as normal as seeing a delivery truck driving down the street someday. So the novelty will wear off.

Amazon has proposed to regulators around the world, including the FAA, a certain kind of an airspace design that would keep the drones separated from the aircraft.

  • Manned aircraft above 500 feet.
  • Between 400 and 500 feet there’d be a no-fly zone — a safety buffer.
  • Between 200 and 400 feet would be a transit zone, where drones could fly fairly quickly, horizontally.
  • And then below 200 feet, that would be limited to certain operations.
  • For us, it would be takeoff and landing. For others, it might be aerial photography.
  • The realtors, for example, wouldn’t need to fly above 200 feet to get a great shot of a house.

One Amazon drone design already has 15 mile range

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