Amazon makes its first delivery by drone to a customer


A fully automated drone took just 13 minutes to deliver a package to a customer in Cambridgeshire after it set off as part of ongoing testing for the Amazon Air service. Chief executive Jeff Bezos previously told the Telegraph that drone deliveries will become “as common as delivery trucks”, although he added the regulatory side of the industry needs to be developed.


Amazon established a partnership with the UK government in July, which aims to allow both parties to understand how drones could be used safely in the logistics industry. Rival Google is also testing drone deliveries in the US. Earlier this month, Amazon unveiled plans to open a physical grocery store featuring technology that could shake up the entire retail industry, with its ‘just walk out’ shopping experience. Customers will be able to enter the store, take the products they want and leave without going through a checkout. 

Currently, Amazon Prime Air service is available for limit number of customers and covers few miles. Very soon, Hundreds of Amazon customers will be able to receive their orders within minutes through drones. Amazon drones are permitted to fly only during the day when its sunny outside. They will be grounded if there is Rainfall or Snow. Amazon said it will expand its test in the coming months from two customers in a roughly 5-square-mile area of largely farmland and fields to dozens more.

Drones are just a part of the online retailer’s long-term plan to develop its own transportation network to control more of its deliveries and one day compete with UPS and FedEx Corp., according to people familiar with the matter. One factor driving Amazon to take over more of its supply chain are skyrocketing shipping costs, tied in part to consumers’ appetite for speedy deliveries. In the third quarter, the Seattle-based company’s shipping costs rose 43% to $3.9 billion.

Rural areas are a big challenge for delivery companies and retailers like Amazon because it is costly and inefficient to deliver packages to destinations that are spread out. That makes rural areas attractive for drone deliveries and the wide-open spaces are the safest for testing.

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