Amazon was represented at a recent White House Summit on Advanced Air Mobility, where they discussed gaining public acceptance for drone delivery and other applications with other industry stakeholders. The Amazon drone delivery video is a stunning communications effort, fascinating to drone industry followers and any resident wondering what the service will look like – while explaining the process of engineering and testing that’s been in the works since 2013.
It sounds like science fiction, but it’s happening. We’re building fully electric drones that deliver packages under 5 pounds to customers in less than 60 minutes. To make the system work, we’re focused on these three components:
The body of the drone: We’ve developed a robust drone using the same aerospace standards that design safety into our system, that is just as reliable as the ground transportation methods that serve our customers today.
The brain: This sense-and-avoid system ensures the aircraft is able to detect and stay away from obstacles in the air and on the ground, such as other aircraft or people and pets in backyards. With this system, our drone can encounter new, unexpected situations and still make safe decisions—autonomously and safely.
The rules: We are creating an automated drone-management system to plan our flight paths and ensure there are safe distances between our aircraft and other aircraft in the area, and that we’re complying with all aviation regulations.
One of the most interesting aspects of the video for the curious is the demonstration of loading and delivery. Payload appears to be loaded into an integrated compartment on the drone. The drone comes in low – it’s unclear exactly what the altitude is – but and spits out the package onto the ground without landing. Amazon’s method seems to differ significantly from Walmart’s tether drop system, or some of Zipline’s drops which involve a parachute to gently deliver packages from a height.
The development of Amazon’s drone delivery program has been fascinating to watch. Seeing the program launch is something of a step forward for the industry, demonstrating that the technology has evolved to be safe and reliable even at the vast scale that retail giants like Amazon represent.
Check out the video here:
Read more about Amazon drone delivery:
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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