Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos showed off the drones, which are in development right now on 60 Minutes tonight. He claims they could be making 30-minute deliveries in 4 to 5 years, though acknowledged that’s a particularly optimistic timeline.
It wasn’t so long ago that Amazon pushed forward the idea of same-day delivery. Now, it’s talking about 30-minute shipping — via Amazon delivery drones.
The online retailer’s chief executive officer and founder, Jeff Bezos, introduced the delivery mechanism, Prime Air, which is in development, on 60 Minutes. Immediately after the piece, Amazon put up a video showing a delivery via the drone, and a portion of its website describing Prime Air.
“They are effectively drones, but there’s no reason they can’t be used as delivery vehicles,” Bezos said. “I think this looks like science fiction but it’s not. …we can do half-hour delivery and carry objects we think up to five pounds, which covers 86% of the items we deliver.”
Bezos said he believes Amazon could be using the drones for deliveries in as little as four years, but acknowledged there’s no way the drones could be making shipments before 2015 because of required approvals from the Federal Aviation Administration. While he didn’t elaborate further on the regulatory process, airlifting packages to customers will undoubtedly be met by a mountain of approval processes, making Bezos’s timeline particularly optimistic.
The drones could make deliveries from 10 miles away from one of Amazon’s 96 fulfillment center, he said. All Amazon would have to do is enter in the GPS coordinates of the delivery address, and fueled by its electric motor, the drones would go off, deliver the product and zip back to the warehouse, he said.
“lt will certainly just be a matter of years,” he said.
Amazon delivery drone.