Imagine a world where you can order an item online and have it delivered in 30 minutes or less. A pizza doesn’t even take such a short time, but maybe if they were delivered in an Amazon drone they would be.
In 2013, Amazon announced their plans to develop a fleet of drones for lightning-fast delivery, but it always seemed like a remote possibility, an innovation that would eventually be a reality in some distant future. But from the video above, it looks like Prime Air is operational, and pending some regulatory red tape, may be available much sooner than we thought.
The promotional video above stars former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson, who narrates a scenario in which prompt ordering and delivery is essential. A little girl is late for a soccer game, and her dog chewed one of her shoes. Her mom quickly pulls out a tablet and orders new shoes via Prime Air. We then get a first look at the way the drone flies from the warehouse, first vertically in the air 400 feet, then horizontally no more than 15 miles away from the warehouse.
Here’s what the drone looks like:
The drone utilizes what Amazon calls “sense and avoid technology” to sense and avoid potential obstructions. Amazon also makes it clear that this latest video is not a simulation; this is an actual delivery taking place (albeit dramatized). The technology seems to work, and it also looks like it’s come a long way since 2013.
A previous promo video revealed a drone that looks very different from the one above, with a revealed box that the drone sort of clamps onto, instead of the one above, in which the package is nestled inside a concealed space within the body of the drone.
Here’s that video, shared almost exactly two years ago on December 1, 2013:
Whatever the drone actually looks like or however it carries your package, there’s no doubt that this is impressive technology and has the potential to be as popular as their Prime 2-Day free shipping feature. But obviously, drone delivery does come with its own snags.
On the Air Prime page’s Frequently Asked Questions section, Prime Air will launch “when and where we have the regulatory support needed to safely realize our vision.” They also add that they envision a future in which the entire world can have access to all their wildest dreams in 30 minutes or less.