Amazon drone delivery taking off in California

Dive briefs:

  • Amazon will soon make some of the first US Prime Air drone deliveries Rockford, California, the company announced in a blog post on Monday. Delivery will begin later this year in the San Joaquin County community.
  • According to Amazon spokeswoman Av, Prime Air will deliver up to £ 5 of parcels over an hour via a drone. Zamit.. Once the order is placed, Amazon’s new MK27-2 drone will fly to that location, landing in the customer’s backyard and hovering at a “safe” height before releasing the package.
  • Amazon, in collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration and local authorities, Rockford.. The FAA will consider plans to ensure operations in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, which is the normal procedure for advanced drone operations.

Dive Insight:

Eligible Lockeford customers will be able to order thousands of products through this service. It claims that Amazon is “the biggest option ever for drone delivery.” But building a safe and cost-effective drone to deliver packages has been a challenging pursuit for Amazon to expand since founder Jeff Bezos announced plans in 2013. did.

According to an Amazon blog post, “Using existing technology, it’s relatively easy to fly a light payload over a short distance in the line of sight, but building a network that can reach customers across a large community is not possible. It’s a very different challenge. “

Amazon’s US Prime Air Service has the potential to succeed in difficult areas as the company can make up for the current shortcomings of drones. In a LinkedIn post on Monday, John McClymont, director of operational strategy and continuous process improvement at Brink’s, said. According to McClymont, packages under £ 5 make up the bulk of Amazon’s volume, and the company can leverage its warehouse footprint to maximize drone delivery times.

It’s also beneficial for Amazon to deliver via drone to a small community like Rockford (about 40 miles south of Sacramento). Yard space is readily available and provides a spacious drop-off point for the package. The efficiency of traditional van delivery, which is currently a challenge due to soaring gas prices and the highly competitive labor market, is limited even in less densely populated areas.

Regulatory approvals are important to Amazon’s drone delivery ambitions as Amazon strengthens operations in Rockford and ultimately in other parts of the country.

Amazon sent a request to the FAA in November to remove certain regulatory conditions for drone operations. According to a letter from Prime Air’s director of safety, flight operations, and regulation, Sean Cassidy, Amazon’s amendment request includes:

  • The new drone feature eliminates the need for ground station observers, aircraft observers, and backyard safety office locations, making them redundant or unnecessary.
  • Remove the specified boundary requirement of 100 feet from takeoff, landing, and delivery points
  • Removed minimum cruising altitude of 180 feet above ground level

According to the letter, the proposed amendment will reflect the improved features of Amazon’s MK27-2 drone model.

According to Zammit, the MK27-2 has a hexagonal design, allows 6 degrees of freedom for stability, and the propeller is designed to minimize high frequency sound waves. Amazon has also developed a drone sensing and avoidance system that allows drones to detect and avoid danger without the need for a visual observer to monitor the flight path, Zamit added.

A FAA spokesperson said authorities have not commented on pending certification projects or discussions with companies.

Other large companies, such as Walmart, UPS, and Wing, a subsidiary of Alphabet, are making unique advances in drone delivery space. Wal-Mart announced last month plans to expand its drone delivery capacity to one million packages annually.

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