SEND IN THE DRONES

GQ (Australia) - - INC. -

Af­ter years of talk­ing up the buzz on de­liv­ery drones, it was only in De­cem­ber last year that Ama­zon Prime Air made its first de­liv­ery by Minia­ture Un­manned Air Ve­hi­cle - a Fire TV sys­tem and box of pop­corn to a cus­tomer in Cam­bridge, Eng­land. That his­tory-mak­ing de­liv­ery ar­rived just 13 min­utes af­ter be­ing or­dered, ac­cord­ing to Ama­zon, and the com­pany’s goal is to be able to de­liver any­thing weigh­ing un­der five pounds (2.26kg) and small enough to fit in a shoe­box, within 30 min­utes of a mouse click. The com­pany says 86 per cent of the pack­ages it sells fit within the weight qual­i­fi­ca­tions for drone de­liv­ery. There are some caveats, of course – the quad­copter drones can only fly in day­light, in good weather; and only two cus­tomers so far reg­is­tered, both near Cam­bridge. Be­yond that, there re­mains the small is­sue that au­ton­o­mous drones are il­le­gal in the US, Ama­zon’s key mar­ket. It’s why Ama­zon’s planned ware­house in the sky re­mains lit­tle more than a patent. For now.

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