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Amazon Prime Completes First Drone-Based Delivery; Success Marks Revolution in Delivery Systems

Dec 16, 2016 10:36 AM EST
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Amazon has made it public knowledge that it plans to launch a drone-based delivery service a few years back. However, it was just until yesterday that it remained fiction. Amazon has announced its first successful drone delivery on December 7.

According to Tech Radar, its Prime Air trial took place in Cambridge, England. It used one of its drone to fly from the Cambridge fulfilment center to deliver a package for a recipient. The entire process, from order to delivery, took only 13 minutes. Of course, the speed is in part down to the fact that the customers taking part in the trial just live nearby.

Regardless, according to Engadget, as soon as the order (popcorn and an Amazon Fire TV stick) have been placed in a box in the drone, the drone is moved along a conveyor belt before taking off.

According to the Wall Street Journal, it will then make its way to the customer's house via GPS. The drone will be landing on the special pad at the house of the customer and, once the order is completed, it takes off and is sent back to the center.

Customers that are in the trial will be able to order Prime Air deliveries seven days a week but they'll be restricted to daylight hours and good weather conditions. Of course, winter seems an impractical time for deliveries.

Regardless, Amazon will be using the data and feedback gathered through the beta tests to expand the trials. At the moment only two customers are being serviced, but Amazon wants to expand the services to "dozens" of others living near the Cambridge base. It's likely a long time before regular customers will see the service expanded to more populated areas.

Amazon appears to have similar custom-built "fulfilment centers" in the United States, Austria and Israel meaning we may be seeing the tests in the locations soon. The company said it will work with regulators and policymakers in other countries before being able to expand the service to other territories. 

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