Bezos maintains he’s serious about Amazon’s drone delivery service, currently testing tech

amazon serious about drone delivery service currently testing technology primeair front
When Amazon boss Jeff Bezos announced last December he was moving ahead with plans to use drones for delivering packages to customers, many observers dismissed his idea as a cheap publicity stunt.

Despite the fact that he already had a prototype to show off, as well as a video showing how the service might work, it seemed to many that unveiling the proposed service the day before Cyber Monday was merely an attempt to get Amazon’s name in the headlines during a critical period for e-tailers, and that talk of the idea would simply fade away over time.

In a recent letter to shareholders, however, Bezos makes it clear that not only is there a team of engineers currently working on developing the ‘Prime Air’ delivery drone, but that it’s actually been very busy indeed.

Besides safety concerns, Amazon will have to find a way of building a relatively quiet flying machine.

“The Prime Air team is already flight testing our 5th and 6th generation aerial vehicles,” Bezos wrote in the letter, adding, “We are in the design phase on generations 7 and 8.”

Amazon’s plan is to build a machine capable of delivering packages of up to five pounds to addresses within 10 miles of its US fulfillment centers, though even if the engineers design a machine capable of doing this, Bezos is well aware there are other obstacles to overcome before the service has any chance of getting off the ground “in four or five years.”

“The hardest challenge in making this happen is going to be demonstrating this to the standards of the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) that this is a safe thing to do,” Bezos said in a 60 Minutes interview last year when he first pulled the wraps off the idea.

Besides safety concerns, Amazon will have to find a way of building a relatively quiet flying machine, for those living close to its fulfillment centers won’t take too kindly to having their peace shattered by an army of noisy drones passing overhead, no matter what time of day.

And as for those promising to blast the Web giant’s octocopters out of the sky if they see one – like this guy in Colorado who said he won’t hesitate to shoot one down if has a chance and will happily “go to jail with a smile over my face” – it’ll surely take more than a few Amazon vouchers and a free Prime subscription to placate them.

There’s clearly some way to go for Amazon’s Prime Air project, but according to Bezos’s recent letter to shareholders, the idea really does appear to be moving closer to becoming a reality.

(Rendering courtesy of Mestaty via sketchfab.com)

Deals

Breathe easy, stay warm with Amazon’s one-day deal on a Dyson air purifier fan

Dyson is a leader in bringing consumers the latest in heating, cooling, and air purification. Its Pure Hot + Cool Link HP02 does all three — and for today only, it’s on sale on Amazon for $359. That’s $241 off the suggested retail…
Movies & TV

Do you have questions about Hulu? We’ve got answers

Not sure which Hulu subscription is right for you? We're here to help. This is your complete guide to Hulu and Hulu with Live TV, including content offerings for each service, pricing, internet requirements, and more.
Movies & TV

Can't get enough lightsaber action? Here's how to get your Star Wars fix online

Few of us want to deal with DVDs or Blu-ray discs anymore. Unfortunately, the Star Wars movies are few and far between when it comes to streaming. If you want to watch Star Wars online, check out our guide on where to find the films online.
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in January 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for January 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Emerging Tech

There’s a new lab-grown meat startup on the block — and it has a secret weapon

Aleph Farms is developing lab-grown steaks with the same flavor, shape, texture, and structure as the real thing using beef cells isolated from living cows. Coming soon to a store near you?
Smart Home

This A.I.-enabled tech brings cutting-edge automation to grocery stores

Takeoff Technologies is working to make grocery deliveries fast, accurate, and convenient using A.I.-enabled technology to augment robotic grocery orders that can be completed in minutes.
Product Review

This was 3D printed? With the Anycubic Photon, you can't tell

Never mind the fact that the Anycubic Photon 3D printer only costs 500 bucks. In terms of sheer print quality, this printer is on the same level as machines that cost six times as much.
Emerging Tech

The best 3D printers of 2018

On the hunt for a new 3D printer? We've got your back. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran, this list of the best 3D printers has what you're looking for.
Emerging Tech

Postmates’ to roll out Minion-like autonomous delivery robots in 2019

Postmates is about to employ a cute little robot to work alongside its human delivery personnel. Called Serve, the wheel-based bot can carry items weighing up to 50 pounds and has a range of 30 miles.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

Are e-cigarettes safe? Here’s what the most recent science says

Ecigarettes are widely regarded and advertised as a healthier alternative to cigarettes for people who are trying to kick the smoking habit. How safe are these cigarette alternatives? We went deep into the recent scientific literature to…
Emerging Tech

Thrill-seekers will be able to pilot themselves in a giant drone as soon as 2019

Want to hitch a ride on a giant drone? The startup Lift Aircraft is gearing up to let paying customers fly its 18-rotor giant drones over assorted scenic landscapes across the U.S.
Emerging Tech

CRISPR gene therapy regulates hunger, staves off severe obesity in mice

Researchers from UC San Francisco have demonstrated how CRISPR gene editing can be used to prevent severe obesity in mice, without making a single edit to the mouse's genome. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.