Amazon Prime Air has begun private trials in England, where its first customer delivery by drone took place.
Prime Air is a delivery system from Amazon designed to get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles, known as drones.
The company recently hosted a trial in Cambridge, England delivering packages to two customers. The company plans to broaden its reach in the UK and beyond.
Amazon said of the trial: “It’s an exciting new development. Through this private customer trial, we will gather data to continue improving the safety and reliability of our systems and operations, bringing us one step closer to realizing this amazing innovation for all our customers.”
Footage of its first drone delivery was captured in a short video below:
Amazon said that Prime Air has great potential to service to millions of customers by providing rapid parcel delivery that will also increase the overall safety and efficiency of the transportation system.
What you need to know:
Is this science fiction or is this real?
According to Amazon, one day, seeing Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road.
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 will Amazon ensure safety?
“Our vehicles will be built with multiple redundancies, as well as sophisticated “sense and avoid” technology. Additionally, through our private trial in the UK, we will gather data to continue improving the safety and reliability of our systems and operations.”
When will I be able to choose Prime Air as a delivery option?
Amazon said it will deploy when and where it has the regulatory support needed. “We’re excited about this technology and one day using it to deliver packages to customers around the world in 30 minutes or less,” it said.
What will the Prime Air delivery vehicles look like?
“We 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,” Amazon said.
Where is Amazon building and testing?
Prime Air development centres are in the United States, the United Kingdom, Austria and Israel. “We are testing the vehicles in multiple international locations,” the company said.
How will Amazon integrate Prime Air vehicles into the airspace?
“We believe the airspace is safest when small drones are separated from most manned aircraft traffic, and where airspace access is determined by capabilities. To learn more, view our airspace proposals here and here.”
Will Amazon run similar trials in other countries?
Amazon says it’s working with regulators and policymakers in various countries in order to make Prime Air a reality for customers around the world.