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Amazon Prime Air Delivery – Episode III

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 It sounds like the forthcoming episode of Star Wars this month. They did it again: new teaser campaign, new drone and new happy customers for christmas.

 Back in 2013 Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO revealed their intentions to make deliveries with drones within 30 minutes after placing the order. At that point it was almost taken as a joke because of the obvious technical, operational and legal challenges that such service presented.

Amazon Prime Air 1 

Further in 2015 they came with their second model (presented by Jeremy Clarkson) of the Prime Air with a hybrid shape between a fixed-wing and a multicopter and a bunch of features such as image recognition and sense and avoid technology. The announcement was quite a surprise since Amazon looked really committed to make it a reality this time.

 Amazon Prime Air 2 

In reality, it is something easily achievable with a preprogrammed waypoint route with some observers placed along the way. Some ultrasonic sensors and a camera facing down for positioning itself, and you can start your own DIY delivery service.

Is this time for real?

Now they claim that they successfully delivered the first package without a pilot to a specifically chosen customer. The model resembles more to that initial one, in this case a quad copter meant to cover short distances between Amazon’s testing facility and some lucky guy’s house nearby Cambridge (UK).

Although it remains unclear how they got the legal permission from the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) to fly autonomously beyond line-of-sight, they made it clear that they are serious about drone deliveries. Amazon will finally revolutionize the world of last-mile logistics or they will be spending an insane budget on the coolest marketing campaign ever. In either way, they got our attention once again.

So the main question still remains: will it be possible to order a drone to be delivered by a drone?

Thanks for reading!  

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