You’ve probably seen the video of Amazon’s Prime Air delivering a customer’s goods within 30 minutes. If not, catch it below.
Just as the news broke last week I was taking my kid to a park in Jaffa, Israel and saw a local guy test running what appeared to be a drone that looked just like the above. He quickly put it away when 20 toddlers started running towards him. In my social networks we started asking around asking if there is an Israeli link to the Amazon drone. A number of Israeli military companies are developing drones (like Bynet) but there was no link to Amazon, said a rep there.
We know that drones typically have a bad rap because they are being developed for military purposes. But beyond that bad rap, drones could have life saving and green implications too.
Made electric or to run on a solar charge, drones can help you “pick up” small items that would otherwise need a trip out to collect. They could help monitor large tracts of real estate so that illegal bird poachers, dolphin raiders, and seal killers can get their day in court.
We know that the latest Amazon Prime Air drone is being hyped up for Christmas, a holiday not widely celebrated in the Middle East. But those experimental “octocopter” drones being made by Amazon could be commercial in as little as four years says Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos.
“I know this looks like science fiction, it’s not,” says Bezos in an interview with Charlie Rose on 60 Minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions About Prime Air to Amazon
Q: Is this science fiction or is this real?
A: It looks like science fiction, but it’s real. From a technology point of view, we’ll be ready to enter commercial operations as soon as the necessary regulations are in place. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is actively working on rules for unmanned aerial vehicles.
Q: One day we’ll see a fleet of Prime Air vehicles in the sky?
A: Yes. One day, Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today.
Q: When will I be able to choose Prime Air as a delivery option?
A: We hope the FAA’s rules will be in place as early as sometime in 2015. We will be ready at that time.
Q: How are you going to ensure public safety?
A: The FAA is actively working on rules and an approach for unmanned aerial vehicles that will prioritize public safety. Safety will be our top priority, and our vehicles will be built with multiple redundancies and designed to commercial aviation standards.
Able to carry up to five pounds and deliver within a ten mile radius of an Amazon outlet, these kinds of delivery trucks could be as normal as mail carriers. If you still have those in your neighborhood.