Almost a decade ago, Amazon, the e-commerce giant, set itself a goal that seemed straight out of science fiction, deliver packages using drone technology. Something you have recently accomplished through your program Amazon Prime Air.
Since the first tests of air deliveries began, the company has faced many problems related to cost, speed and scalability. In addition, it has had to overcome technical and security challenges, not to mention the company’s internal problems when it fired a hundred employees from the United Kingdom, which seemed to keep the program from winning.
the first deliveries
In 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave Amazon the go-ahead to begin experimenting with this type of drone shipment and in the 2020 definitively approved the program. For now, Amazon Prime Air will have a limit of 50 daily air deliveries in each sector of the chosen locationswhich have been divided into 4 sectors.
Despite the problems, Amazon has already managed to make the first deliveries by air, dropping packages in the backyards of its customers in US locations in Lockeford, California and College Station, Texasafter being announced by the company in June of this year.
These towns have few inhabitants.. Lockeford is located 50 miles southeast of Sacramento and has a population of just 3,500. For its part, College Station is located 100 miles northwest of Houston and is slightly larger.
Customers in both locations can sign up for the Amazon Prime Air program, when making your purchases. Amazon will let customers know when the program is available in more regions so they can request drone delivery.
The customer who opts for this delivery service, whose delivery promise is to take less than an hour From click to delivery, you can track the drone if you want to wait for the device in the yard. Once at the location, the drone descends to a height of 12 feet (3.6 meters) and drops the package. After this, it begins to rise again and leaves the place.
MK27-2, the new Amazon messenger
The hexagonal delivery drone model MK27-2which has six propellers and is programmed to avoid chimneys, phone lines, pets and people, will be in charge of making deliveries, traveling at a speed of 80 km/h. In addition, it is capable of traveling 12 kilometers round trip completely autonomously.
This device, which measures around 16 meters in diameter and weighs 36 kilos, is capable of transporting packages of maximum 5 pounds (2 kg), that can fit into a box the size of a shoebox. Although they seem very small packages, these represent 85% of the deliveries they currently make.
Amazon has tested more than 24 drone prototypes for Prime Air and one of the biggest concerns is that drones crash into things, which is why they state “our drones can face new and unexpected situations and still make safe decisions, autonomously and safely. We have created a sophisticated detect and avoid system and industry leader that will allow our drones to operate at greater distances while safely and reliably avoiding other aircraft, people, pets and obstacles.”
Amazon is designing new prototypes by 2024
Amazon is already working on new drone models that include some interesting improvements and will be available by 2024.
It’s all about the model MK30xWhat is it lighter and promises to generate 25% less noise. In addition to this, the new model can land in tighter spaces and can fly in light rain.
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