Amazon has been trying to deliver packages using remote-controlled drones for years, but work has been slow. Now the company is testing drone deliveries in two areas of the United States.
David Carbon, the vice president of Amazon’s Prime Air division, announced on LinkedIn that the company was conducting its first drone deliveries “from our new locations in TX and CA.” Amazon confirmed this FOX 40 news that deliveries are underway in Lockeford, California, an unincorporated county about 40 miles south of Sacramento, and in College Station, Texas, home of Texas A&M University.
Carbon said in the LinkedIn post, “These are tentative first steps that we will turn into giant leaps for our customers over the next few years,” an Amazon spokesman said FOX 40 news, “Our goal is to get our drones safely into the sky. We are starting in these communities and will gradually expand deliveries to more customers over time.”
Drones have a much more limited weight capacity than trucks, so only small and light packages can be delivered. The drone flies to a customer’s backyard — so most apartments and condos are probably off-limits — then lowers far enough to drop a package and flies away.
Amazon has been working on drone deliveries since at least 2013, when the service was estimated to be “available to customers in just 4-5 years”. That First delivery was in England on December 7, 2016, in what the company says was a fully autonomous flight without a human pilot.
Even with ongoing real-world testing, it’s unclear if Amazon will ever introduce widespread drone delivery. Business Insider reported earlier this year that Drone deliveries cost Amazon around $484 per packageand the company was working to bring that down to $63 per package by 2025. The company’s testing attempts weren’t perfect either – A drone crashed in Oregon, sparking a brush fire, fortunately without causing any injuries or deaths. Still, the company is pushing towards a future with fewer human drivers and their annoying tendency Take occasional bathroom breaks.
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