728_header.jpg (23748 bytes)
 Home 
 EB Blog 
 AB Blog 
 Letters 
 Podcasts 
 ABTV 
 Forums 
 EPIS 
 PR Service 
 Classifieds 
 EKG 
 Ratings 
EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3208 - December 02, 2013 - ISSN 1539-5065    2 of 5

Amazon Reveals Surprise on 60 Minutes: Delivery Drones

By Ina Steiner
EcommerceBytes.com
December 02, 2013




Email This Story to a Friend

Amazon is getting a lot of flak these days over treatment of warehouse workers, but you wouldn't know it if you watched 60 Minutes on Sunday evening. The investigative news show went inside a company warehouse, but with cameras in full sight. After showing off the wonders of Amazon warehouses, the TV program broadcast the company's CEO revealing his latest invention: delivery drones.

Drones are known mostly these days because of their role in the military - unmanned flying vehicles that make it safer to conduct dangerous or stealth operations. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sees the commercial potential for drones: delivering packages to your doorstep.

On the 60 Minutes TV newsmagazine program Sunday evening, Bezos showed correspondent Charlie Rose a secret R&D project: "octocopter" drones that will literally fly packages directly to your home in 30 minutes.

The Amazon octocopter drones, called Prime Air, can carry items weighing up to 5 pounds, which covers 86% of items Amazon delivers, so it won't handle everything, Bezos explained. The current generation Octocopter can fly within a 10-mile radius of a fulfillment center.

They run on electric motors, and Bezos called them very green - "it's better than driving trucks around," he said. When asked if there was someone sitting in front of a screen flying the drones remotely, Bezos said no, they were autonomous - you give them instructions with GPS coordinates, he explained.

The hardest part is "making sure they don't land on somebody's head" and waiting for the FAA, which is set to allow drones to fly alongside planes in U.S. commercial airspace in 2015. It can't be before 2015, Bezos said, but it could be 4 - 5 years out.

Another high-tech firm is already involved in unmanned vehicles - Google has been developing driverless cars and has been reportedly testing drones for aerial photography for its maps and Google Earth products.

Retailers are in a race for same-day delivery, and Amazon has just taken it to another level.

See more on the Amazon website.

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

You may quote up to 50 words of any article on the condition that you attribute the article to EcommerceBytes.com and either link to the original article or to www.EcommerceBytes.com.
All other use is prohibited.

Sign up for our Email Newsletters

Email This Story to a Friend
Email this story to a friend.


2 of 5


Sponsored Ad