Delivery drones were supposed to be a revolution, but they are a disappointment
Many years ago, Amazon announced the mass introduction of delivery drones. They were supposed to revolutionize the way parcels were delivered, but reality got in the way of the revolution.
Amazon’s delivery drones only in the US for now
Amazon Prime Air is a delivery drone project that Jeff Bezos announced at the end of 2013. Since then, the revolutionary delivery method has been in progress, but it causes many doubts not only among employees, but also among the residents of the city where Prime Air is implemented.
College Station, Texas and Lockeford, California turned out to be some of the places where Amazon’s drones weigh nearly 100 pounds delivered orders placed by customers. The problem, however, is that the Prime Air isn’t as comfortable as you’d expect from the start.
Amazon Prime Air Delivery Drone (Source: TheVerge)
Amazon Prime Air is not the most convenient solution
Deliveries of orders by drones are so convenient that they reduce the effort of employees and in general all the logistics related to the physical delivery of the package by courier. Only the in-flight delivery person picks up the package – and automatically delivers it to the specified address.
This is how it should look in theory. In practice, however, deliveries by drones face a lot of criticism regarding, above all, safety. As an example, a drone started a fire in Pendleton in 2021, where the device fell uncontrollably to the ground. There are several similar situations where a flying supplier has unexpectedly collapsed.
It takes a lot of people to operate drones
Automated deliveries where human assistance is minimal is a problem that Prime Air lacks. According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules, operating these 90 kg drones requires constant employee observation.
The flyover over the road forced the FAA to check to see if there was a vehicle under the drone – and that check is continuously being conducted by an employee observing the area.
As TheVerge calculates, that’s the total Prime Air should have made the delivery participation of up to 6 people. All this in order to simplify the process of delivering orders in populated areas.
Will it be better in the future?
It all depends on how much the failure rate of flying suppliers can be reduced. With devices that weigh tens of kilograms, it is crucial to ensure the safety of objects and people on which drones operate.
Although the technology is currently being tested in the US, much depends on local regulations. Heavy drone flights in Poland (if Amazon launches Prime Air here) will be controlled by local regulations. These, however, may differ from the American ones in many respects.