In news that has shocked the world, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos has publicly announced an ambitious plan to deliver packages to customers in 30 minutes using airborne robotic drones. The story was unveiled by 60 Minutes on Sunday.
More than a mere pipe dream, the so-called "Prime Air" delivery system is already functioning in test mode. Multi-rotor robotic drones grab packages at an Amazon distribution center then literally fly out a window and take to the skies. Minutes later, the drones make a soft landing on the front porch of a customer, releasing the package and returning back to the Amazon.com distribution center for a power recharge.
Bezos told 60 Minutes he believes this technology will be commercially viable in "four or five years," adding that FAA regulations might be the biggest hurdle.
Wildly complex operation
Pulling this off would change the entire U.S. economy. UPS, Fedex and the U.S. Postal Service must be quaking in their boots upon seeing this demo. If Amazon.com can deliver packages itself, using an army of drones, then who needs trucks and delivery men?
That said, delivering packages via airborne drones is wildly complex. Not only are you dealing with bad weather, power lines, tall trees and other flying aircraft, but you've also got to consider the fact that a whole lot of people are going to want to capture those drones or try to bring them down for the sheer fun of it.
Given the use of fixed-wing drones by the Obama administration to deliver deadly weapons on target, most of the U.S. public isn't too thrilled with the idea of drones buzzing around their homes. And then there's the issue of cameras and recording devices: if Amazon's drones start recording video, then they effectively become "spy drones" that can peer into your windows while they drop off packages.
On the positive side, drone delivery of packages is arguably useful for society. It could speed economic activity and revolutionize e-commerce. Plus, it's a "green" technology if the batteries of the drones are charged via solar power or other renewable sources. No combustion engines needed!
Can Bezos pull it off?
If anyone else other than Jeff Bezos were trying to make this happen, I would say the chances of success are near-zero. But Bezos has an amazing track record of innovation, automation and business achievement. Never count him out.
Today, Amazon.com, despite its isolated flaws, is still the best e-commerce machine on the planet. And that's largely due to Bezos' vision, tenacity and innovation. Anyone betting against Bezos and his army of flying drones would be making a very foolish bet.
Of course, even drones have their limits. Don't expect Amazon.com to deliver your 75" plasma screen by air. Drone range and carrying capacity are both likely to be extremely limited once this service rolls out in the years ahead. Plus, there's also the chance that the U.S. government will nix the whole idea by denying Amazon.com use of the air space needed by drones.
On a personal level, I'm not sure I really want to look up at what used to be a clear blue sky and see it filled with Amazon.com drones buzzing around. But when you really need a product in 30 minutes, it might be worth the price.
Republished with permission from NaturalNews
Written by Mike Adams
Featured image credit: Amazon
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