Sunday, December 1, 2013

Amazon is developing drones for same-hour delivery

Amazon.com Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said the online retailer is developing pilotless flying vehicles he calls “octocopters” that can deliver packages within a half hour of customers placing an order.

Bezos showed Charlie Rose an early version of the drone in development on an episode of the CBS news program “60 Minutes” aired Sunday evening. He said it was possible Amazon could introduce the drones within four to five years, depending in part on Federal Aviation Administration approvals. ...

Bezos said the drones could carry packages weighing up to five pounds, which makes up 86% of the company’s deliveries, according to the transcript.

“It could be a ten-mile radius from a fulfillment center,” said Bezos. “So, in urban areas, you could actually cover very significant portions of the population.” ...

An Amazon press release timed to the show’s airing says the proposed delivery idea is called Prime Air. A spokeswoman for the company said Amazon had already contacted the FAA about the project.
--Greg Bensinger, WSJ, on Amazon's unending ambition