Almost 10 years after Bezos’ infamous statement, Amazon Prime Air drone delivery takes off in College Station
While Jeff Bezos infamously stated in 2013 that drone deliveries would be commonplace by 2018, we are only now seeing Amazon Prime Air take off in College Station.
The Aerial Perspective
Drone deliveries were said to change the way people would get their everyday consumer goods in the future. Jeff Bezos' 2013 statement added weight to people's belief that this new delivery method would become a reality in the near future.
However, drone regulations were slow to catch up and still do not permit large-scale, automated drone delivery flights beyond the operator's line of sight (BVLOS).
Furthermore, Amazon Prime Air itself had its fair share of issues, reorganization, and even a drone crash trying to make drone deliveries take off.
So far, drone deliveries are making more significant headway in business-to-business applications with high value items and where time is of the essence. Good examples are Zipline delivering blood samples and medications in Rwanda, Matternet making drone deliveries between hospitals and labs in Zurich, Switzerland, and human lungs being delivered by drone between hospitals in Toronto, Canada.
Zooming in on Amazon Prime Air
- A new service called Amazon Prime Air enables drone deliveries of goods.
- College Station was chosen as one of the two places where the new Amazon Prime Air would launch.
- The second location is Lockeford, California.
- In July, the College Station City Council approved a zoning change, allowing Amazon to build a drone delivery facility.
- A report from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says that drones won't have any major effects on the environment.
- Amazon will let people in these two markets know when they can get their packages delivered by drone.
- Amazon wants to securely bring drones to the sky, according to spokesman Paul Butler, and although they are beginning in these two towns, they plan to grow over time.
“Prime Air deliveries to customers in College Station, Texas, and Lockeford, California, have now started,” Amazon spokesperson Paul Butler said Friday. “Our aim is to safely introduce our drones to the skies. We are starting in these communities and will gradually expand deliveries to more customers over time.”
Amazon is not the only company making headway in the drone delivery sector. Other examples are Wing, a subsidiary of Google's parent company Alphabet, Zipline, which operates large-scale drone delivery operations in Rwanda, Wingcopter, Matternet, Manna Aero, and Swoop Aero.
Photo courtesy of Amazon Prime Air.
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