by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby
Working for almost a decade to make drone delivery a reality, Amazon has developed fully electric drones capable of delivering packages under 5 pounds to customers in under an hour, from click to delivery.
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The company also previously announced that customers in Lockeford, California, and College Station, Texas, will be some of the first to receive Prime Air deliveries from the MK27-2 delivery drone later this year.
Now, Amazon has announced its MK30 next generation delivery aircraft. Expected to enter service in 2024, the MK30 will be lighter and smaller than the MK27-2. The new aircraft’s extended range, higher temperature tolerance, improved safety features, and the ability to fly in light rain will allow customers to more frequently rely on drone delivery.
Amazon is also working to lower the noise signature of its drones. Prime Air’s Flight Science team has developed new custom-designed propellers that will reduce the MK30’s perceived noise by 25%.
With its improved safety features, the MK30 can autonomously make safe decisions in response to new and unexpected situations. With its industry-leading sense-and-avoid system, the drone can operate at increased distances while avoiding obstacles, including other aircraft, people and animals. The MK30 will undergo exhaustive testing by national aerospace authorities such as the Federal Aviation Administration to prove its safety and reliability.
Since starting Amazon Prime’s Two-Day Delivery program 17 years ago, the company has developed new technologies and made investments in its logistics network enabling two day, one day, and even same day deliveries. Amazon is now turning to drones to allow for sustainable delivery in under an hour, and eventually within 30 minutes, at scale.
Amazon intends to expand the Prime Air program to further customers in the months and years to come.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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