As people start to fantasize about little Amazon drones carrying novellas, we wonder: what the hell is happening here?
Pictures and videos of Amazon’s new ‘delivery drones’ have been doing the rounds today, with people watching an unmanned, flying drone delivering a bike tool to a person’s house within half-an-hour of them ordering said bike tool. It’s absolutely ridiculous, and we’d like someone to confirm it’s not real, please.
Amazon drone - what?
“I know this looks like science fiction, it’s not,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said on 60 Minutes, adding that “this is early, this is still years away.” You’re right, Bezoz, it seems like something from Blade Runner and 1984 combined. We know there’s a buzz surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but this is too far.
The idea is that a drone could carry objects of up to 5 lb. (2.27 kg) within a 10-mile (16 km) radius of an Amazon distribution center. “The hard part here is putting in all the redundancy,” Bezos said. “All the reliability to say this can’t land on somebody’s head.”
But it’s not like there’s no precedent for this delivery method: SF Express in China is reportedly testing a system “built for delivering packages to remote areas,” according to Quartz. And then there was the Dominos pizza by drones story that emerged earlier on this year. There are loads of reasons why this can’t work though: weather, idiots, safety, people that don’t have gardens, birds, and loads of other reasons that couldn’t be thought of in that 16 second period. Bottom line: this is a joke, surely.
"The UAVs do not currently have the awareness of their environment to be able to avoid flying into people,” Dr Darren Ansell, an expert on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) from the University of Central Lancashire said.
“To deliver goods to people's homes for example in residential areas, the UAVs must overfly densely populated towns and cities, something that today's regulations prevent. Other things to consider are security of the goods during the transit. With no one to guard them the aircraft and package could be captured and stolen," he said. (BBC)
Amazon's delivery drone in action
Amazon said: "from a technology point of view, we'll be ready to enter commercial operations as soon as the necessary regulations are in place." The FAA was "actively working on rules for unmanned aerial vehiclesadded the online retail giant, saying that it hoped the drones could be in action by 2015 "One day, Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today."