Amazon showcases new delivery drone in Las Vegas

Amazon showcases new delivery drone in Las Vegas
Photo: Eduardofamendes, Wikimedia Commons

Amazon has officially introduced its brand-new delivery drone at the MARS conference in Las Vegas. Delivery drones have been the “next big thing” for some time, and Amazon believes that using the delivery vehicles will massively reduce shipping and delivery times.

Drone to be operational “within months”

The CEO of Amazon’s worldwide consumer division, Jeff Wilke, confirmed onstage that Amazon had successfully developed an electric delivery drone that is likely to be operational “within months.” What does this mean? It means you could be ordering something from Amazon and receive your good within a half-hour.

Supposedly, the drones will be able to carry packages under 5 pounds up to approximately 15 miles. While the use of drones as a method of delivery is certainly ground-breaking, one of the big concerns associated with the new technology is safety.

How safe will it be?

According to Wilkes, Amazon has invested heavily in AI, ensuring that all drones can navigate safely to and from their delivery destinations. The drone needs to be able to detect all obstacles, regardless of size. Telephone wires, property, small animals (like birds) and people need to be considered when creating collision avoidance systems.

Robots too?

While the delivery drones were the big news, Amazon also revealed the extent of their robotic use in their operations. Since 2012, Amazon has effectively deployed over 200 000 drive units to help streamline productivity by reducing sorting times and accuracy of delivery. The initiative has created over 300 000 jobs in the process.