Amazon Prime Air Drone Delivery Is Ready For Liftoff, Here's How It Works

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Amazon customers in one California town will be soon be able to receive Prime Air deliveries via drones later this year. After nearly a decade of trying to make drone delivery a reality, Amazon is finally ready to start delivering on its quest to get packages to customers in a quicker, more cost effective manner.

It was way back in 2016 when Amazon made its first Prime Air drone delivery to a customer in the UK. The customer, Richard B., was located a mere two miles away from the fulfillment center when he was delivered an Amazon 4K Fire TV and a bag of popcorn. Since then the company has been working on making the delivery system a reality for more of its customers. Now, nearly six years later the company is finally prepared to start flying deliveries to customers in Lockeford, California.

In a post on its website, Amazon stated, "Our teams of hundreds of scientists, engineers, aerospace professionals, and futurists have been working hard to do just that, and later this year, Amazon customers living in Lockeford, California, will become among the first to receive Prime Air deliveries."

Lockeford has a population of just over 3,500 people, and will play a vital role in Amazon's rollout of its Prime Air delivery service as its residents will provide feedback crucial to the success of the program. Amazon stated, "Their feedback about Prime Air, with drones delivering packages in their backyards, will help us create a service that will safely scale to meet the needs of customers everywhere."

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Image Credit: Amazon

Amazon is currently working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and local officials in Lockeford to gain permission to begin using drones as a delivery method. The company also says it will be investing in the community by creating new jobs, building partnerships with local organizations, and helping to reduce carbon emissions.

One of the biggest issues that can occur when utilizing drones is being able to detect and avoid other aircraft and obstacles. Amazon has created what it calls an industry-leading sense-and-avoid system that will permit operations without visual observers and facilitate drones to operate at greater distances, all while being able to safely and reliably avoid other aircraft, people, pets, and obstacles.

The company hopes to begin delivering packages to customers in Lockeford later this year, once it gets permission from the FAA to do so. Once in operation, drones will fly the delivery to the customer's designated location, descend to the customer's backyard, and then hover at a safe height. The drone will then release the package and rise back into the air to return back to the originating facility.

The e-commerce giant says it hopes to methodically expand the service over the coming months and years to more customers.

What do you think about drones being used as a means of delivering your packages? Do you trust the technology to be able to safely deliver what you ordered? Let us know in the comments.

Top Image Credit: Amazon