Friday 30th Sep 2016 - Logistics Manager

Amazon to trial new drone delivery system

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Amazon will trial a new delivery method, Prime Air, which will see drones used as delivery vehicles, according to chief executive Jeff Bezos.

Bezos made the announcement during an appearance on US TV show 60 minutes.

He told correspondent Charlie Rose the new concept of octocopters could see packages delivered in half an hour.

“With the drones we can carry objects, we think, up to five pounds, which covers 86 percent of the items that we deliver,” he said.

Being autonomous, the vehicles work using GPS coordinates, so Bezos says no-one will need to sit in front of a screen to control them.

“These vehicles could operate within a ten-mile radius from a fulfilment centre. So, in urban areas, you could actually cover very significant portions of the population,” he added.

“It won’t work for everything; we’re not going to deliver kayaks or table saws this way. These are electric motors, so this is all electric; it’s very green, it’s better than driving trucks around.”

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Awaiting consent of the US Department of Transport’s Federal Aviation Administration, Amazon is predicting the trial will begin in four or five years time.

The company said putting Prime Air into commercial use will take that long as it must also advance the device’s technology to conform to the FAA’s rules and regulations.

“But it will work, and it will happen, and it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Bezos.

*Australian university textbook rental, Zookal, recently teamed up with unmanned aerial vehicle firm, Flirtey, to launch a trial to deliver books at the University of Sydney.

Zookal said the aim was to undercut the postal service on both time and price.