This announcement by Jeff Bezos seems like a tease this close to Christmas, as last-minute shoppers scramble to get packages delivered in time. The first Amazon test-drone delivered a package - an Amazon Firestick stream device and a bag of popcorn - in just 13 minutes to a customer in the English countryside.
Amazon is testing its PrimeAir delivery service in the UK, where it doesn't face the flight restrictions that prevent this from being done in the U.S. The company has a development facility in the Cambridge area, and two test customers - including Richard, the first one to receive a package earlier this month.
The company plans to expand the, ahem, pilot program to include hundreds more test customers, who will be able to order various products for delivery during the daytime, weather permitting.
According to The New York Times, some people aren't thrilled Amazon is testing the service in the area. Julia Napier, who helped found a local association that maintains public footpaths near Amazon’s test sites, said the drones threaten wildlife.
“They are testing those drones here because they can’t do it in America,” Napier said. “Whatever the Americans don’t want, I don’t want it, either.”
This service may well be the future of home-delivery, but there are still many hurdles to overcome - how to navigate populated urban areas, for instance.
Imagine a future where people no longer storm crowded malls on Christmas Eve, because they have been replaced by a steady stream of drones doing last-minute deliveries instead.
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