Quick Note: Amazon to Use Unmanned Drones for 30 Minute Package Deliveries
December 2, 2013 11:51 AM
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It should finish testing in about four to five years
CEO Jeff Bezos said he wanted to use unmanned "Prime Air" drones for small package delivery.
During a "60 Minutes" interview with CBS correspondent Charlie Rose, Bezos said the company is currently testing unmanned, octocopter drones called "Prime Air" that have the ability to deliver small packages to customers in just 30 minutes.
The speedy delivery system would pick up packages up to five pounds in weight and deliver them directly to customers' homes or businesses. This could be pretty helpful to Amazin, since packages under five pounds represent about 86 percent of packages that Amazon delivers.
Bezos added that the Prime Air drones are only in testing right now, and they need more safety testing and FAA approvals before they can be used regularly. According to Bezos, this should be in about four to five years.
Check out more info on the drones from Amazon
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RE: Ain't going to happen.
12/3/2013 7:02:35 PM
Cheaper then FedEx/UPS/USPS? Yes.
Greener than FedEx/UPS/USPS? Yes.
Wait a second there. Those are some fairly bold claims to make. And probably untrue.
For one thing, the amount of energy required to acchieve the 10 mile radius indicates these guys are going to need 2-3 kWh batteries. Presumably lithium. They are also likely to have a resource usage of around .1 kWh/mile/lb. A UPS truck uses around 4 kWh/mile. Presumably, UPS trucks are carrying much more than 40 lbs of packages along a typical route.
A second thing is that unless we make major advances in battery technology, there is be a fairly strict limit to zone of flight and carry wieght (more wieght/range requires more batteries which limit range which require more batteries, etc). Whereas 1 distrabution center for UPS could easily cover a 100 mile radius (volume dependant), Amazon's drones would need 100! of the same centers.
They are likely to be more expensive and less green that FedEx/UPS etc. However, they are very convienent and cheap and green provided you goal is such tight timelines.
"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher
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