In the midst of the holiday season many of us are scrambling to find the perfect last minute gift for that special someone in our lives, and trying to find a way to balance the struggles of holiday shopping and arranging for package deliveries within our busy schedules. Now it seems that Amazon has recently come one step closer to making those types of stresses a thing of the past. On December 07 the company took a step toward forever changing the way we shop as it completed its first fully drone-powered delivery in Cambridge, England.
The order, which took only 13 mins from submission to delivery, was the first of its kind and a very early indicator of what the future of online shopping will hold for customers and businesses. Currently, Amazon is only servicing a few local Cambridge residents during this beta program, but there is Amazon Prime Air laboratories already located in the United States, Australia, and Israel as well.
Although they are still working out the logistics of implementing such a system on a large scale, Amazon has cleared up many early concerns in the FAQ section of their website. According to them, there should be no concerns over the drones interfering with other crafts in the same airspace because the drones will be flying at around 400 feet, a level of airspace where only small unmanned craft can operate. They have also stated that the drones will only be in service during clear, daylight conditions and any signs of rain, snow, or ice would leave them grounded.
While the success of this initial test is very encouraging for Amazon and the potential that it promises, we are still a long way out from seeing large scale implementation of this type of system. The Prime Air lab still has a lot of obstacles to work through, such as how this kind of delivery system would be feasible in urban areas and large cities. So, while for now we must continue to brave the cold on our way to shopping malls and wait patiently for our packages to appear on the porch, the future holds exciting possibilities for us all.