Amazon’s Super Bowl ad proves it hasn’t given up the dream of drone delivery

amazon prime air drone super bowl amazons first delivery
With a Super Bowl ad costing around $5 million for a 30-second slot, it’s always interesting to see which companies cough up the cash and how they use their time.

Amazon, for example, split its input into three 10-second segments on Sunday, each one promoting its Echo speaker and its incorporated personal assistant called Alexa.

The last of the three ads also included a surprise cameo from its Prime Air delivery drone, a move notifying the masses that the company is still working tirelessly on developing the flying machine and that, yes, it really does want to use it to deliver stuff to your home. One day.

The ad (shown below) shows a guy watching the game while messily wolfing down a load of Doritos. Next to him, a woman, looking a little put off by his boorish behavior, asks Alexa to “reorder Doritos from Prime Air.”

“OK, look for delivery soon,” Alexa says, her response teasing Amazon shoppers with the prospect of an imminent launch of its Prime Air drone. However, a disclaimer shown at the bottom of the screen serves to dampen expectations: “Prime Air is not available in some states (or any really). Yet.”

At the end of the slot, Amazon’s drone buzzes into view, the ordered chips presumably packed safely inside an on-board compartment.

The company, which is better known for its gargantuan ecommerce website than unmanned aerial vehicles, has been working on its delivery drone for around four years. Designed first as a quadcopter, the machine was radically overhauled toward the end of 2015 to include not only propellors, but wings, too, a change that helped to increase its speed, stability, and maneuverability. And with a 15-mile range, it can also fly five miles farther than the original design.

While a number of U.S.-based businesses are looking to launch similar drone delivery services, strict rules for commercial operators laid down last year by the Federal Aviation Administration mean such a system could still be a ways off.

Meanwhile, in the U.K., Amazon recently managed to launch a very limited delivery service using its drone. And in New Zealand, Domino’s is dropping off orders of its doughy delights to “select customers” in a community north of Auckland.

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