Amazon delivery drones to launch in California this year

Amazon customers in Lockeford, California will be the first to experience our future dystopia of convenience. Awaiting final regulatory approval, Amazon says it will begin delivering packages by drone later this year (thank you, baby (opens in new tab)).

The online giant has been talking about drone technology for many years and has shown off several prototypes. “The promise of drone delivery often feels like science fiction.” reads Amazon’s blog post announcing the news (opens in new tab). “We’ve been working for almost a decade to make it a reality.”

Amazon says the challenge it set itself was: “How do you get items to customers quickly, cost-effectively, and most importantly, securely, in less than an hour? And how do you do it in a way that be scaled?”

The company believes it has finally succeeded, and Lockeford will be the test bed. He says feedback gathered from this period and from residents using it will be crucial and that he will be fully cooperating with the Federal Aviation Administration as well as Lockeford officials.

Lockeford has a population of around 4,000, so the question of whether to scale might be interesting, but Amazon struggles to emphasize the technology in its drones and its sensors.

“We designed our detection and prevention system for two main scenarios: being safe when in transit and being safe when approaching the ground. […] our drone can identify a static object in its path, like a chimney. It can also detect moving objects on the horizon, such as other aircraft, even when it is difficult for people to see them.

“As our drone descends to deliver the package to a customer’s backyard, the drone ensures that there is a small area around the delivery location free of people, animals or other obstacles.”

Jeff Bezos first promised drones in 2013 and said he would be operating in 2018. Of course, there have been setbacks along the way, as well as successful trials, it must be said, but it looks like we will soon have skies full of little metal insects. , carrying your precious Prime cargo.

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