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Delivery by Drone: Amazon Air Unveiled

Tuesday, 03 December 2013 - 10:23AM
Robotics
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 - 10:23AM
Delivery by Drone: Amazon Air Unveiled

 

If Google is driving us into the future, Amazon just called shotgun.

 

A video teasing the web giant's latest innovation - 30-minute delivery by octocopter - has attracted millions of views since its release on Sunday. It's a simple demonstration that may take years to realize, but the technology is delightfully real: An Amazon drone lifts a sturdy pelican case off of an assembly line and flies it to your doorstep.

 

While it could help clear the roads, this kind of drone use has yet to be legalized by the FAA. Amazon claims that it will be ready to roll out the program as soon as the regulations are in place, promising a sci-fi future where "Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today."

 

Drones filling the skies raises a lot of questions. If a package is dropped, who is responsible for its privacy? Will people steal the drones? Will UFO sightings increase? And when can we use this with 3D printing to have custom products flown to us right after we design them?

 

When you think about it, delivery by air changes the concept of delivery. Without limiting transport to trucks and cars, your address might someday expand from a number on a street to "Southwest window, 15th floor." We can't wait for Seamless to catch on.

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