Amazon announced that Amazon customers in Lockeford, California, will be among the first to receive Prime Air drone deliveries in the U.S. Amazon wrote: The promise of drone delivery has often felt like science fiction. We’ve been working for almost a decade to make it a reality.
According to Amazon, Lockeford has historic links to the aviation industry. The community boasts one of the early pioneers of aviation – Weldon B. Cooke, who built and flew early planes in the early 1900’s – as a former resident. Now, over a century later, residents will get the opportunity to sign up for free drone delivery on thousands of everyday items,
Lockeford residents will play an important role in defining the future. Their feedback about Prime Air, with drones delivering packages in their backyards, will help us create a service that will safely scale to meet the needs of customers everywhere – while adding another innovation to the town’s aviation history.
Amazon says it is working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and local officials in Lockeford to obtain permission to conduct these deliveries and will continue with that collaboration into the future.
CNET reported that Amazon has been developing drones for years. It gained FAA approval for the drones in 2020, before scaling back the project the following year.
According to CNET, the drones use sense-and-avoid systems to operate safely. The drones can reliably avoid obstacles including other aircraft, people, and pets, Amazon said.
Once the system launches, customers in Lockeford will be able to order products through Amazon Prime Air and wait for the drone to arrive. It will fly to its destination, descend to the customers’ backyard, and drop the package from a safe height, before zooming away.
The Hill reported that Amazon’s Prime Air is one of three drone delivery service companies that has earned an FAA air carrier certificate, according to the company. The Hill also reported that Amazon says its drones can carry up to five pounds.
I can understand why Amazon wants to use drones to send things to customers who pay for Amazon Prime. It would not only give Amazon a reason to use its drones to deliver packages, but also could encourage customers to keep their Amazon Prime subscription going.
What I don’t like about Amazon’s Prime Air drone deliveries is that it appears to limit who can make use of it. A person could have an Amazon Prime subscription – but not have a backyard for the drone to drop the package in.