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Amazon’s delivery drones

by BRIANNA SICILIANO Photo/Video Editor

Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, revealed on the December 1 episode of “60 Minutes” that the giant online store is developing a drone-based delivery service, which is called Amazon Prime Air.

Not long ago, Amazon revealed their new Sunday delivery option, giving Amazon Prime members a guarantee that their packages will be shipped quicker than usual.

Now, Amazon has revealed their next big surprise. Prime Air was unveiled to Charlie Rose, an interviewer for “60 Minutes,” as a surprise.

Amazon’s R&D department is working on creating drones to deliver packages within 30 minutes. These drones will not be available for a few years.

The packages would be pulled off the lines by the octocopter, and then use its GPS to guide it to the direct delivery address. When the vehicle arrives, it releases the package on the doorstep.

“Because the octocopter has eight blades, if one breaks, the drone will still be able to safely drop off a package. As many have remarked, it looks like something out of the Jetsons,” said Bezos.

Bezos also revealed in the interview that the earliest that Amazon Prime Air could be in service is 2015 because that is the soonest the Federal Aviation Administration can update its laws.

However, “The Wall Street Journal” reports that the FAA is not planning to begin the certification of commercial drones until 2020.

“Drones delivering packages directly to homes is an exciting idea for the future, but drones flying in the air can be dangerous. I do not know how smart this idea is,” says junior Hiral Patel.

In March 2013, a commercial airliner flew within 200 feet of a small drone, which was flying 1,750 feet over a New York neighborhood. If the plane and drone had collided, the collision would have killed hundreds of people.

Tom Jeffries, a retired commercial pilot, told that the airliner almost hit the drone because drones do not appear on radar.

Jeffries said, “You are never going to see [the drones] until they hit something. When they suck one of those drones into the engine of a plane, then it will get everybody’s attention.”

Because of the dangers and unrealistic traits these drones are rumored to have, there is a very good chance that the service will never exist in reality. If Amazon Prime Air may never exist, then why did Bezos reveal the top-secret information?

The interview was uploaded the night before the biggest e-commerce shopping day of the year – Cyber Monday. The attention that these drones are receiving most likely helped the company’s advertising and sales.

If the “Prime Air” drones are built and used to deliver packages, the vehicles could be used to deliver packages up to 5 lbs in less than 30 minutes within a 10-mile radius of any Amazon fulfillment centers.

“It will be interesting to see if these drones will be safe enough to work. Being able to step outside soon after I sent in my order, and have the product at my hands, sounds like a pretty good invention to me,” said sophomore Toni Rothchild.

What is your opinion on the Amazon drone delivery system?

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