On July 25, 2016, Amazon announced that, with the help of the UK government, it will begin testing new methods for a parcel delivery system via the use of drones through research and trials.
The drone delivery system, called Prime Air, will expectedly be able to safely get packages of up to five pounds to customers in 30 minutes or less.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has given authorisation for the testing of sensor performance of the drones themselves, beyond line of sight operations in rural and suburban areas and flights with multiple highly-automated drones operated by one pilot.
Paul Misener, Vice President of Global Innovation Policy and Communications at Amazon, said: “The UK is a leader in enabling drone innovation – we’ve been investing in Prime Air research and development here for quite some time.
“This announcement strengthens our partnership with the UK and brings Amazon closer to our goal of using drones to safely deliver parcels in 30 minutes to customers in the UK and elsewhere around the world.”
To ensure the safety of the operation beyond line of sight, the CAA will have a big role in the research and testing of drones.
Tim Johnson, Policy Director with the CAA, said: “We want to enable the innovation that arises from the development of drone technology by safely integrating drones into the overall aviation system; these tests by Amazon will help inform our policy and future approach.”
This ground-breaking work will help Amazon and the Government understand how drones can be used safely and reliably in the logistics industry. It will also help identify what operating rules and safety regulations will be needed to help move the drone industry forward.
PTI had already reported a 5 year waiting period for the Prime Air to become a reality for customers, with new aviation rules for drone flight set to be implemented in US airspace by August, 2016.
Port and terminal operator DP World is also eyeing the possibilities of utilising drones to provide a more personalised service for customers, while citing this method of transport as the future of smart trade.
Misener concluded: “Using small drones for the delivery of parcels will improve customer experience, create new jobs in a rapidly growing industry, and pioneer new sustainable delivery methods to meet future demand; the UK is charting a path forward for drone technology that will benefit consumers, industry and society.”
See below for a promotional video released by Amazon, which showcases the possibilities of the Prime Air delivery system:
Fact File: Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfilment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit www.amazon.com/about.