Order a product and 13 minutes after he is in you. This is the promise that Amazon hopes, in the near future, be able to do to its customers. And thanks to the drones. The american giant of online commerce has announced that it has made the Uk his first delivery through a drone. And to prove it he has put a video online on his website on Wednesday. The CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos said in a tweet between the command and the reception of the parcel by the customer, he was held for 13 minutes. The package contained a module for receiving streaming tv “Fire TV” and a bucket of popcorn.
Amazon has indicated that this delivery to a particular had taken place on 7 December in the Cambridge area. The service, called “Amazon Prime Air”, is called to develop in other regions of the country after the first test in real conditions. The american giant had announced last July the launch of a programme of deliveries by drones in Britain in collaboration with the government. Today only two british customers are part of the testing phase of the service. But Amazon wants to extend it to several dozen in the next few months.
Unveiled a year ago, the drone of Amazon is able to carry parcels less than 2.7 kg with a top speed of 90 km/h And Amazon is not the only one working on this concept. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, announced in August a test program in collaboration with the federal agency of the united states air force (FAA) in the framework of a project called “Wing”. Wal-Mart, the american giant of the distribution “classic”, also plans to deliver some of its products by drones, according to the american media.
so far, the first delivery by drone in the United States has been carried out by the chain of convenience stores “7-Eleven”, which, in July, was routed by this means a chicken sandwich, a coffee and a donut in the region of Reno (Nevada). The legislation allowing the delivery by drones in the United States is still a work in progress and should be finalised by the FAA.
A drone is completely autonomous
Currently, it is possible to fly a drone less than 25 kilos in certain areas, which are not under the control air to the condition that the operator maintains a visual contact with the craft. A flight clearance shall be filed for the other areas to avoid the risk of collision with other aircraft.
If it provides a benefit to some customers who need a super quick delivery, the use of drone is it economically viable? For the time being, the eligible customers have access to without additional cost of delivery. For the good and simple reason that no human pilot has been involved in the process. Once loaded, the drone took off by himself and delivered his package before returning to its base. The cost obviously would not be the same if there had been a pilot in the plane, or rather behind the screen.
The autonomous car more cost-effective than the drone?
however, today in many countries, the legislation prohibits or limits the flight of drones as autonomous as that of Amazon. In France, for example, a uav stand-alone must not weigh more than 1 kilo, and his flight should not last more than 8 minutes for security reasons and air traffic control. However, the device of Amazon weighs twenty kilos, and it is supposed to make flights of several tens of minutes.
Or with a driver behind each aircraft, the delivery by drone would not be really profitable. A specialist delivery interviewed estimated that the hourly cost of operating a drone with a pilot would be another twenty euros. Very expensive for deliveries barely 2 pounds when the item invoice for such service less than 10 euros.
For this expert of the sector, the future would be instead to look to the side of the autonomous car. Such a vehicle could, as a drone, to deliver 7 days on 7 and 24 hours on 24 and be in charge of deliveries, that is more important than simple bags of popcorn.