Amazon Wants To Deliver Your Next Package Using Drones

Tonight Amazon unveiled that they are working on a new system called Amazon Prime Air. The delivery system will use drones that will be guided by GPS. The goal is to have delivery to the customer in 30 minutes or less. I wonder if they can deliver a pizza as well?

It sounds futuristic. But Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is optimistic that in the next 2 to 3 years he will be able to convince FAA about the safety of the system and begin rolling it out. The drones were revealed this evening on the CBS show 60 Minutes during an interview Bezos had with Charlie Rose. You can watch that full interview on the 60 Minutes website. The interview is definitely worth checking out as you also get a peek into the incredible fulfillment system Amazon has to fulfill orders to sell everything to everyone and a glimpse into the incredible business savvy mind of Bezos.

In talking about how Amazon is constantly searching for new ways to gain new customers through speedy delivery I love what Bezos has to say about adapting and growing your business to stay in front to avoid disruption from another business. A great business lesson for all of us. This of course comes on the heels of Amazon's recent partnership with the USPS to start delivering Amazon packages during the holiday season even on Sunday.

Jeff Bezos: Companies have short life spans Charlie. And Amazon will be disrupted one day.

Charlie Rose: And you worry about that?

Jeff Bezos: I don’t worry about it 'cause I know it’s inevitable. Companies come and go. And the companies that are, you know, the shiniest and most important of any era, you wait a few decades and they’re gone.

Charlie Rose: And your job is to make sure that you delay that date?

Jeff Bezos: I would love for it to be after I’m dead.

Just think. A few years from now if you decide you would like a 50mm 1.2 lens before a shoot later in the day, you might just be able to order it and have it delivered by drone within 30 minutes of clicking the buy button. Crazy!

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Gao Shan's picture

by hellfires i suppose? you order the raw meat, and boom, well done.

Chris Reid's picture

I can see them getting shot out the sky or sabotaged by other drones.
If people knew there was reasonably expensive merchandise just floating around it would get stolen within minutes.

Very cool idea, don't think it can work though
The amount of 'shipping' insurance you will be paying to make sure your package arrives safely or at all will outweigh the positives. Seems to me that it will also take some peoples jobs away.
Sounds like win,lose,lose,lose,lose generally speaking.

agour's picture

Sounds like a good idea (and it's good for viral-marketing), but it would never work.

Agree with Chris, people will sabotage or steal them.

Daniel S's picture

If I need an item in 30 minutes or less, I'll just go to a store.
These small drones will not be able to fly in bad weather.

I can imagine mid-air collisions with birds, recreational aircraft, power lines, etc. Just think of a medi-evac chopper lifting someone to an ER, only to collide with an Amazon drone delivering a screwdriver.

the_pro_amateur's picture

Have you been to a store lately? They don't have anything. I haven't shopped in years. I recently needed a specific 10' extension cord. Multiple stores had only a 3'. Plus they're more expensive (which could be an issue with this Amazon service. It doesn't look cheap). The only reason to go to a store is because it's some kind of emergency and you need "a TV", not a good TV, not the one you want, just whatever overpriced mass market piece of junk they happen to stock. You have to deal with traffic, parking, dishonest and incompetent employees, and hassle for your phone number, zip code, warranties, etc... I'd much rather wake up, order something, and have it at my door when I get out of the shower.

These aren't flying at mach 10 and birds are going to see and avoid them. I'm also pretty sure, since power lines and helicopters have been around for a bit, the creators have thought of this. You know AI can avoid obstacles right? You really think a patio umbrella is going to derail the entire drone delivery model?

Daniel S's picture

Yes, I've been to a store lately -- 2 days ago -- and more often than not, they have what I want.
I haven't experienced the hassles you've described at most places I shop for pretty much anything. Except Sears, but they're terrible. That being said, I go to different stores for different things. I do my research, go to the store, pick the one I want, and say "no" whatever I don't want. It's pretty simple.

About the potential for accidents with birds, etc:
Birds are dumb and slam into BUILDINGS all the time. They've also crashed into each other.
I'm not questioning the AI of the drone, but the weather will have a greater effect on these small craft than trucks, people, or commercial planes. So yes, "gust of wind + power line = crash" is more possible. It'll only take one kid getting whacked in the head (even if it's his/her own fault) or whatever to bring the whole thing down ... or the price up.

Believe me, I'd love to have my orders in 30-minutes, especially if it was new lens or camera, but I don't see how this can be any sort of widespread or profitable.

Jay Kan's picture

Buy a pack of pencil from Amazon, order the 30min delivery, take their drone and reverse engineering. Bingo, now you have a Quad for your next video or photo shoot! LOL.

I'm not sure how they're going to prevent people from just taking their quads...

Edward Porter's picture

A combination of radio, satellite, and cellular signals w/ video feeds would make it pretty easy to apprehend their drones should they ever be hijacked. And it would be especially retarded if you planned on jacking one of these linked to your amazon account...

Jay Kan's picture

Haha, I would exactly call it retarded. I am sure there's someway around it. I did robotics in high school. In order for them to be able to track it using radio, satellite, and cellular signals with video feeds, they would have to have a transmitter somewhere on the drone. If it can go on it, it can probably come off.

Just wondering. Nothing offensive.

it is a good joke too!

Fritz Asuro's picture

Meanwhile . . . Preparing my Tokyo Marui L96 AWS.