Drone deliveries of online purchases hover ever closer to reality.
Amazon has unveiled a video of its delivery drone, one that is looking quite different than previously imagined.
In a promotional video, Jeremy Clarkson of BBC’s Top Gear fame narrates the story of a family in dire straits that needs to secure a new pair of soccer cleats – and fast.
The former TV personality describes how, using a tablet, parents were able to order a new pair from Amazon and have it delivered “in 30 minutes or less.”
It is interesting to note that unlike the old prototype, which is seen grasping onto a plastic container underneath a black dome, the new drone is outfitted with a parcel in a cargo compartment-esque hatch similar to an airplane.
According to Clarkson, the drone then rises to nearly 400 feet straight up before switching to a horizontal plane towards its target destination.
“In time, there will be a whole family of Amazon drones – different designs for different environments,” he said, adding the one shown in the video can fly 24 kilometres.
The drone is shown to have collision avoidance technology. When the delivery (called Prime Air) arrives, a customer is notified on their mobile device, upon which time, the drone hones in on a designated delivery area (such as a back yard), drops off the package, and takes off once again.
Thomson Reuters reports that the US Federal Aviation Administration would finalize regulations for commercial drones by June 2016. The CBC reported that Amazon was testing the technology in Canada in secret in as early as March this year.
Google and Wal-Mart are among other retailers looking into drone delivery technology. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the company’s first drone in 2013. No word yet on when they will be operational.