Drones for delivery science fiction or Reality?
By FFE Tech News Staff
Don’t get scared if you see a flying object above your house, it is just Amazon delivering your online order to you. Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is eyeing unmanned drones to make deliveries faster and more efficient.
Chief executive Jeff Bezos reported that the test drones, called Octocopters, can carry packages weighing 2.3kg and deliver the items within 30 minutes of the order. He said ‘I know this looks like science fiction, but it’s not.
‘We can do half-hour delivery… and we can carry objects, we think, up to five pounds (2.3kg), which covers 86% of the items that we deliver.’
This service will be called Prime Air, and Amazon has already posted videos showing test drones in action. However, existing regulations on the use of drones does not yet cover commercial use. This means the service may not be available within the next five years.
In Europe, civilian air space may be open to all kinds of drones by 2016.
Regulations restrict the use of drones to police and government use only because unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) may pose a risk to civilians. UAV expert Dr Darren Ansell of the University of Central Lancashire explained that this is because the drones are not yet aware of their environment and may fly right into people.
Safety of the package while the drone is in transit is also an issue as it is at risk of being stolen or captured.
Amazon said they’ll be ready on the technological side of the service as soon as new regulations are in place.
Meanwhile, a witty netizen has already taken the idea up a notch by making a mock-up of a failed drone delivery: