World-first as Amazon completes first customer delivery by drone in East Anglia
- Credit: PA
Amazon has completed its first customer delivery by drone – and it was done in Cambridgeshire in the UK.
The technology firm’s founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos confirmed the delivery in a tweet.
“First-ever #AmazonPrimeAir customer delivery is in the books. 13 min - click to delivery,” he wrote on the social media site.
Amazon said a new private trial - also in the UK - will now deliver packages up to five pounds in weight in 30 minutes or less using the drones, which it began testing earlier this year.
The firm has not commented further on where or to whom the trial will be available.
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Questions over the safe use of drones remain, however, with a number of near-misses involving commercial aircraft and amateur drone pilots reported this year.
Amazon has proposed using its crafts in “segregated blocks of airspace below 500 feet and away from most manned aviation operations”.
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Amazon also said its drones will use “sense and avoid” technology and data will be continuously gathered throughout the trial to make improvements, calling safety its “top priority”.
The company added that the current trial was only permitted to operate during daylight hours with low winds and good visibility, and not in rain, snow or icy conditions.
How will it work?
Amazon Prime Air is a service that will deliver packages up to five pounds in 30 minutes or less using small drones.
How ado they ensure safety?
Vehicles will be built with multiple redundancies, as well as sophisticated “sense and avoid” technology. Additionally, through the private trial in the UK, Amazon will gather data to continue improving the safety and reliability of our systems and operations.
What will the Prime Air delivery vehicles look like?
Amazon are testing many different vehicle designs and delivery mechanisms to discover how best to deliver packages in a variety of operating environments. The look and characteristics of the vehicles will continue to evolve over time.
What kind of weather will Amazon operate in during the trial?
Amazon are currently permitted to operate during daylight hours when there are low winds and good visibility, but not in rain, snow or icy conditions. Once they have gathered data to improve the safety and reliability of the systems and operations, they plan expand the envelope.