Amazon Prime Air Launch New Drone & Campaign
The 'drone' era of package delivery is almost here. Yesterday Amazon released a new ad featuring former 'Top Gear' TV host Jeremy Clarkson and a new drone. The ad praises the benefits of Amazon's still in-development, Amazon Prime Air. You'll notice the drone is a new "hybrid" design that switches between vertical and horizontal flight.
(Amazon video below) (photos of old & new drone below video)
Amazon says, "We're excited about Prime Air — a future delivery system from Amazon designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using small unmanned aerial vehicles, also called drones. Prime Air has great potential to enhance the services we already provide to millions of customers by providing rapid parcel delivery that will also increase the overall safety and efficiency of the transportation system. Putting Prime Air into service will take some time, but we will deploy when we have the regulatory support needed to realize our vision."
In the ad Clarkson points out the new drone climbs vertically "to nearly 400 feet" before switching to horizontal flight like an airplane. That altitude is what the FAA says is the limit. You'll recall that earlier this year Amazon challenged the FAA over delivery regulations but this ad indicates the company seems to be playing nice with the rules thus far.
They don't indicate when they'll start delivery saying only, "Prime Air will not launch until we are able to demonstrate safe operations." But expect more drones. The company says, "We are testing many different vehicle designs and delivery mechanisms to discover how best to deliver packages in a variety of environments. We have more than a dozen prototypes that we’ve developed in our research and development labs. The look and characteristics of the vehicles will evolve over time."
Prime Air development centers are located in the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel. The company adds, "We believe the airspace is safest when small drones are separated from most manned aircraft traffic, and where airspace access is determined by capabilities.