Amazon announced this week that it will deliver parcels in the UK within an hour from the end of 2024. However, not on board at the moment, but in a region yet to be determined.
(BBC video from US on drone parcel delivery)
The company already offers drone deliveries for items weighing more than 2.2 kilograms in two US states. The Aviation Regulatory Authority said it was important to carry out research into how drones could be used safely in wider areas of UK airspace.
Amazon said it is working closely with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to comply with the regulations. This is certainly in the spirit of the government too, which has announced that it wants to gain important insights into the safe use of technology from Next Steps.
David Carbon, vice president of Amazon Prime Air, said he expects high demand on the island because of security. “It’s a hundred times safer than driving to the store,” he said in one BBC interview. What else?
Customers can choose from thousands of items weighing 5 pounds or less, from dish soap and toothbrushes to beauty products and batteries, which are then packed into a shoebox-sized package.
The first area for air delivery in the UK will be named in the coming months. Amazon currently offers drone deliveries in California and Texas. Abroad, in addition to the UK, they want to introduce “high-speed” deliveries in Italy soon.
Commercial drones should be commonplace in the UK by 2030, according to the government
This means that the scheme will initially start in the less populated suburbs. You want to move to the centers gradually. Subject to official approvals. The plan makes sense, especially given government estimates that commercial drones are expected to be commonplace in the UK by 2030.
And how does it work in practice? As seen in the video above from the US, after getting permission, customers can use the service in a large garden.
One thing is clear: a drone needs a lot of space to drop a package from three to four meters high to the ground. “It’s funny. “I never thought a package would be delivered to my garden,” says the American customer. Usually everything is there after 30 minutes.
Once you order, you place a small marker on the lawn with a QR code in the US. As the drone approaches, it locates and releases the package. In the UK this is said to be similar using GPS data.
The flying robot has sensors to avoid obstacles. As you can hear in the video, “Delivery” sounds like a lawnmower as it spins above the ground. “It’s a little noisy, but it doesn’t bother me,” says an American customer. The world is changing, but hello.
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