Amazon plans to begin delivering some drone packages to homes in several communities in Northern California this year, the company said Monday.
Residents of the agricultural cities of Lockeford and Acampo in San Joaquin County, and some of Lodi, can order “thousands of everyday items” online and expect drones to drop them into the backyard within an hour, AvZammit said. Says. , Amazon spokesman.
Amazon Prime Air Drones can carry packages weighing less than 5 pounds, including beauty and cosmetics, office and technical supplies, batteries, and household items, and are usually the size of a large shoebox, Zamit said.
The company is building a facility to launch drones in Rockford.
Amazon Prime Air was certified for commercial flight of cargo in 2020, but is seeking approval from the Federal Aviation Administration and county authorities for plans in San Joaquin County.
Since CEO Jeff Bezos appeared in the “60 Minutes” segment in 2013 and announced the e-commerce giant’s desire to deliver packages by air within four to five years, the company has varied. The drone prototypes have been repeated, and each has not been released to the public.
In places such as the Inland Empire, drone delivery is cited as a way to reduce carbon emissions, as the traffic of megawarehouses and their trucks contributes to pollution.
Last year, Business Insider reported that at least eight Amazon drones crashed during testing. A wildfire broke out in Oregon last summer when a drone fell 160 feet and crashed after a motor failure.
Amazon’s latest model is a hexagonal propeller-driven aircraft with a “sensing avoidance system” that uses algorithms to avoid hitting other aircraft, chimney sweeps, people, and other potential obstacles.
You need to identify Amazon employees and the appropriate landing area. There, the customer drops a marker similar to the QR code. The drone goes down about a couple of yards from the ground, drops luggage and flies away.
The FAA requires human observers to monitor Amazon drones from takeoff to out of sight. Amazon will request the removal of safety precautions.
“Part of this is learning as you progress,” Zamit said.
Raja Sengupta, a professor of transportation engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, who has been working with drones for nearly 30 years, said autonomous drone technology is advanced enough for Amazon Prime Air to work. However, given the history of problems in Amazon’s testing, Sengupta was skeptical about factors such as bad weather and moving obstacles such as dogs and cats.
“Doing it in college or on an exam is one thing, doing it as a sustainable and reproducible product,” says Sengupta.
Amazon’s decision to lower the drone for delivery also raised concerns from Sengupta. Competitor drones, such as Irish Alphabet subsidiaries Wing and Manna drones, lower their packages with tethers, but drones hover at higher altitudes.
“It’s all harder than what other industries are doing,” Sengputa said.
Amazon plans to expand drone deliveries to densely populated metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles.
With a population of about 3,500, horse and cattle ranches, orchards and vineyards, lots of vast land and low-density housing, Rockford said Rockford made the most sensible first step.
Rindy Crawford, manager of Lockeford’s Ace Hardware, was surprised that Amazon chose a rural location to deploy drone deliveries.
“There’s one grocery store, two gas stations, something like a hardware store, unlike Stockton, Lodi, and the Bay Area,” says Crawford.
She was worried that this program would replace the deliveryman.
“You are missing that relationship, that one-on-one,” she said.
Amazon said it would seek feedback from the community and offer jobs at the new facility.
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