Look. Up in the sky. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No – it’s an Amazon Prime Air drone making a delivery!
It’s been a few years now since Amazon first showed consumers how drones could be used for package delivery, and while it is still not commercially applicable, the company continues to make progress on the initiative.
In mid-December, Amazon made its first commercial drone delivery to a shopper in Cambridgeshire, England. The order, consisting of an Amazon Fire device and popcorn, was dispatched from a nearby Amazon warehouse and it covered the two miles to the customer’s home in 13 minutes. Additional consumers are expected to test the drone delivery in the next few months, greatly expanding the service.
In nearby Cambridge, the company has a large plant at which it has been testing drones. The drones are capable of carrying up to five pounds and use cameras to identify the landing locations where marked pads are placed. The units are flown under 400 feet and use GPS and “sense and avoid” technology that helps to avoid tall objects such as towers, wires, buildings, birds, and other obstructions.
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Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Show the delivery video:
- Additional videos and information are available on Amazon’s Prime Air Web site:
- Discuss the business implications of using unmanned drones for delivery.
- Have students work in teams to list the positives and negatives of businesses using drones.
- Have students discuss other applications of using drones in deliveries and business. How does this impact marketing?
Source: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, other news sources