Falling from the sky: Amazon Prime Air’s first successful drone delivery

Amazon announced that it has successfully delivered a package via a drone to a customer as part of its future Prime Air service.

In a private trial happening in Cambridge, England, an Amazon drone on Dec. 7 delivered the package to a customer in 13 minutes from ordering to delivery. The drone is fully autonomous, meaning no human pilots.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, tweeted the news:

During the trial, according to an Amazon video, the drones cruise “quietly” under 400 feet, carry packages under 5 pounds and are guided by GPS.

Like Domino’s Pizza, Amazon says it will deliver packages in 30 minutes or less.

The company says the trial for now involves just two customers. It plans to expand to dozens living several miles of the U.K. facility “and growing to hundreds more,” says the video voice-over.

In the future, customers can pick from “thousands of items tucked in a Prime Air fulfillment center located just over the horizon from their homes.”

In the video, a drone lowers a package into a person’s yard onto what looks like a drone landing pad. During the trial, customers will be able to choose from “tech gadgets to their dogs favorite biscuits.”

Inside the drone-delivered package is an Amazon Fire TV and Propercorn Sweet & Salty Popcorn.

As for safety and weather, the company says it’s a top priority:

We are currently permitted to operate during daylight hours when there are low winds and good visibility, but not in rain, snow or icy conditions. Once we’ve gathered data to improve the safety and reliability of our systems and operations, we will expand the envelope.

Photo: A prototype of a Prime Air delivery drone, unveiled on Nov. 29, 2015. (Courtesy of Amazon)


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