News East West
NEW YORK: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed on Sunday that his company plans to use small drones in delivering packages to customers.
The man, who pioneered e-commerce, told CBS TV news show 60 Minutes that the idea to use small, unmanned aircraft called octocopters was to deliver the packages to customers within 30 minutes of their order.
Playing a demo video, Bezos showed how when customers pressed the buy button on Amazon.com, the small aircraft will pick up packages in yellow buckets from a fulfillment centre and fly to deliver it to them within 30 minutes.
Calling his unmanned aircraft service Prime Air, Bezos said it will take `some number of years’ to become operational as Amazon has to develop the technology to required levels. Further, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will have to make rules and regulations for the service to operate.
“I know it can’t be before 2015, because that’s the earliest we could get the rules from the FAA. My guess is that’s, that’s probably a little optimistic. But could it be, you know, four, five years? I think so. It will work, and it will happen, and it’s gonna be a lot of fun,’’ he said.
“I know this looks like science fiction. It’s not,’’ Bezos added.
The half-hour delivery service, he said, would deliver items weighing “up to five pounds (2.3 kilograms), which covers 86 percent of the items that we deliver.”
The Amazon CEO said the small drones will operate within a 10-mile radius of an Amazon fulfillment centre.
“So, in urban areas, you could actually cover very significant portions of the population. And so, it won’t work for everything; you know, we’re not gonna deliver kayaks or table saws this way. These are electric motors, so this is all electric; it’s very green, it’s better than driving trucks around. This is…this is all an R&D project.”