Amazon to debut new delivery drone
We’re putting this out there; just in case we need to refer back to it when Amazon finally manages to officially deliver something tangible with one of their many drone prototypes – nearly ten years after they promised to do so.
While the world waits for the promised first landing in Lockeford and College Station sometime next year, the online retail conglomerate has announced that it will be launching another drone, which says will be able to fly through moderately extreme temperatures and light rain on its delivery journeys across urban locations.
“We’re now introducing our next generation delivery drone: the MK30,” the company said in a statement.
“Due to come into service in 2024, this drone will be lighter and smaller than the MK27-2, the drone that will be making deliveries in Lockeford and College Station.
“The MK30’s increased range, expanded temperature tolerance, safety-critical features, and new capability to fly in light rain will enable customers to choose drone delivery more often.”
The company added that it was wary of concerns from the public about the disturbance drones can bring to communities with their noise; so Amazon said it is working to make its model of drones as quiet and invisible as possible.
“Reducing the noise signature of our drones is an important engineering challenge that our team is working on,” the company statement said.
“Our drones fly hundreds of feet in the air, well above people and structures. Even when they descend to deliver packages, our drones are generally quieter than a range of sounds you would commonly hear in a typical neighbourhood.
“Still, Prime Air’s Flight Science team has created new custom-designed propellers that will reduce the MK30’s perceived noise by another 25 percent. That’s a game-changer, and we’re very excited about it.
“We know our customers will only feel comfortable receiving drone deliveries if they know the system is safe and reliable. Our drones can encounter new, unexpected situations and still make safe decisions—autonomously and safely.
“We’ve created a sophisticated and industry-leading sense-and-avoid system that will allow our drones to operate at greater distances while safely and reliably avoiding other aircraft, people, pets, and obstacles.”
While other drone logistics platforms that include Zipline, Swoop Aero, Wingcopter, Matternet, Manna and AerialMetric have completed well over a million flight missions and delivered as much in small scale cargo (medical supplies, vaccines and other small packages) across five continents, Amazon’s promise of drone delivery for its clients has often felt like science fiction; something the company says it is keen to correct.
“We’ve been working for almost a decade to make it (Amazon drone delivery service) a reality. We’ve built fully electric drones that can deliver packages under five pounds to customers in less than an hour, from click to delivery.
“Earlier this year, we announced that customers who live in Lockeford, California, and College Station, Texas, will be among the first to receive Prime Air deliveries later this year.”
Well; at this point, we have to point out that Amazon has better hurry – this year will end in just thirty-two days.
“Since then, we’ve developed new technologies and made investments in our logistics network that have helped us get packages to customers in two days, one day, and even on the same day. To sustainably deliver a vast selection of items in under an hour, and eventually within 30 minutes, at scale, drones are the most effective path to success.
“We are excited about the next chapter in the Prime Air program and expanding this service to more customers in the months and years to come.”
We continue to wait.