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Amazon Works on Delivery Drones at New Facility in England

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Amazon logoAmazon officially opened its new development center in England today where engineers will work on delivery drones, among other projects. Ultimately 400 “learning scientists, knowledge engineers, data scientists, mathematical modellers, speech scientists and software engineers” will work on projects ranging from “core machine learning and retail systems” to improve the shopping experience for Amazon customers, as well as Prime Air, “Amazon’s future delivery system designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using small unmanned aerial vehicles.”

Press release follows:

Amazon today opened the doors to its new Development Centre site in the heart of Cambridge. Located at One Station Square adjacent to Cambridge Station, the new building is a 60,000 sq. ft. development that will when at full capacity be home to over 400 highly-skilled employees including machine learning scientists, knowledge engineers, data scientists, mathematical modellers, speech scientists and software engineers. Amazon already has hundreds of employees in Cambridge and is recruiting extensively as part of its increased expansion plans in the city.

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The new building is Amazon’s second Development Centre site in the Cambridge city centre and is housing research and development (R&D) teams working on a range of projects that serve customers around the world including:

– Amazon Devices including Echo voice-controlled speakers and the recently-announced Amazon Cloud Cam

– Amazon Alexa, the brain that powers devices such as Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Show

– Prime Air, Amazon’s future delivery system designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using small unmanned aerial vehicles

– Core machine learning and retail systems, improving the shopping experience for Amazon customers.

The Amazon Development Centre Cambridge campus is keeping its original building at Castle Park, where additional Alexa teams will work. The Cambridge campus is home to Amazon Research Cambridge, an initiative that encompasses a wide range of talented engineers, scientists and researchers. This growing team of highly-skilled experts work across a wide variety of disciplines to develop new technologies that benefit Amazon customers globally.

Digital Minister Matt Hancock said: “I’m delighted Amazon has chosen the UK for its new research and development centre. This will create hundreds of highly skilled jobs and sends a clear signal to the world we are open for business.

“We’re determined to make the UK the best place to start and grow a digital firm, are working hard to deliver our groundbreaking Digital Strategy and Amazon’s latest investment is another boost for our world-leading digital economy.”

“Cambridge has been a centre of academic and intellectual excellence for over 500 years so we are delighted to open our second site in the city,” said Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager, Amazon. “The exciting and innovative new products and services developed here will benefit millions of customers around the world, complementing the work that goes on in our other Development Centres in London and Edinburgh. I hope this new building will contribute towards our global innovation story with voice recognition, streaming video, machine learning and drone technology all being developed right here in the UK.”

To mark the opening Amazon is working with Cambridge LaunchPad, a programme that inspires young people to take a career in STEM and works with local employers to engage with schoolchildren so they can learn more about the exciting possibilities that STEM can offer. The programme aims to offer young people in the Cambridgeshire areas rewarding experiences and enable them to reach their potential.

Anne Bailey, Co-Founder of Form the Future CIC who runs Cambridge LaunchPad, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Amazon as a partner for Cambridge Launchpad. Amazon’s support will help inspire a love and fascination of engineering, science and technology in young people, and help educate them about the exciting career opportunities that exist in STEM.”

The new facility is part of Amazon’s significant investment in the UK, with the company investing more than £6.4 billion in the UK in building and running its operations since 2010. The company also has Development Centres in London, primarily focusing on R&D for Amazon’s global Prime Video Service and Edinburgh, focusing on improving Amazon’s online and mobile shopping experience. These Development Centres and Amazon Web Services mean that by the end of the year Amazon will have over 1,500 high tech roles in the UK, working on technologies that benefit its customers around the world.

This year Amazon has pledged to create 5,000 new permanent roles across the country and is on track to bring its total workforce to 24,000 across its head office, three development centres as well as its fulfilment and customer service centres. These new job opportunities are for people with all types of experience, education and skill levels—from software developers, engineers and technicians, to those seeking entry-level positions and on-the-job training in operations roles.

SOURCE: Amazon Press Release

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Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. Send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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