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Amazon Proposed Drone Delivery Has Some Texas Residents Concerned

Amazon Proposed Drone Delivery Has Texas Residents Concerned

Amazon announced on Friday it would begin delivering packages to customers in College Station, Texas by drones later this year. The news follows on the heels of its announcement last month that it would offer drone delivery to customers in Lockeford, California

Amazon said hundreds of residents in Lockeford had already expressed interest in receiving their Amazon orders via drone and said, “we’re working with each one of them to make this a reality.”

Why College Station? It’s the home of Texas A&M University, a “world-class university” that has been working in the area of drone technology.

Amazon wrote in its blog post announcement, “This expansion of our service is made possible by the years of innovation, testing, and invention by talented teams of scientists, engineers, aerospace professionals, and futurists working on Prime Air.”

News of the expansion to College Station came two days after a local news outlet reported on a zoning request that had residents concerned. “If approved, the almost seven-acre lot would open up for an Amazon Prime Air location, where customers in a four-mile radius could have items delivered to their homes by a drone,” according to the news story on KBTX.com.

Amazon shared more information about its drone technology last month, which we reported on in this June 13th article. Update follows:

An Amazon spokesperson told EcommerceBytes it is now reaching out to customers in both locations, offering them an option to receive free and fast drone delivery on thousands of everyday items – the largest selection of items to ever be available for drone delivery. Deliveries will start later this year.

The spokesperson explained, “Once onboarded, customers will see Prime Air-eligible items on Amazon. They will place an order as they normally would and receive an estimated arrival time with a status tracker for their order. The delivery drone will fly to the designated delivery location, descend to the customer’s backyard, and hover at a safe height. It will then safely release the package, rise back up to altitude, and return to base.”

He also noted, “As Amazon launches the service, it will also be investing in the community, creating new jobs and building partnerships with local organizations.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

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