Amazon drone “Prime Air” to be up and running “within months” – Jeff Wilke


  • “The ecommerce company says the unmanned aircraft uses AI and other advanced tech to safely fly and avoid obstacles.
  • The FAA has certified both Amazon and a service being developed by Google-parent Alphabet to introduce commercial drone deliveries in 2019.
  • The demonstration is part of an Amazon project, dubbed Prime Air, that aims to enable drone delivery of small packages in less than 30 minutes. Wilke said the company expects the service to be up and flying ‘within months.'”

    • “For the first time, Amazon today showed off its newest fully electric delivery drone at its first re:Mars conference in Las Vegas.
    • The new drone can fly up to 15 miles and carry packages that weigh up to five pounds.
    • The drone also uses various machine learning models to, for example, detect other air traffic around it and react accordingly, or to detect people in the landing zone or to see a line over it (which is a really hard problem to solve, given that lines tend to be rather hard to detect).
    • As the drone makes its way to the delivery location or back to the warehouse, all of the sensors and algorithms always have to be in agreement. When one fails or detects an issue, the drone will abort the mission.”

    • “A tilting design allows for the drone to use the same six propellers to fly forward as it does for take off and landing.
    • Amazon claims its goal for the finished Prime Air service is create “fully electric drones that can fly up to 15 miles and deliver packages under five pounds to customers in less than 30 minutes.”
    • This may sound like a small payload, but Amazon says 75 to 90 percent of purchased items are under that weight limit.
    • It’s worth remembering that Amazon doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to meeting its deadlines in this area. The company first announced plans for Prime Air all the way back in 2013″

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