The online retail giant has made its first drone package delivery in the United Kingdom on December 7th of 2016 but was not revealed until the 14th of December.
The package arrived safely at its destination in Cambridge, just 13 minutes after being ordered online.
A video showing the process details how the order was completed using an electrically powered drone flying at up to 400 ft.
After sceptics questioned how much of a “game changer” the limited trial service of drone deliveries on part of Amazon would be, they decided to put it to the test.
On December 7th, as part of testing for the Amazon Air service, a drone successfully delivered a package to a home in Cambridge, England just 13 minutes after being ordered online. The news was not released until the 14th of December though.
As part of the testing for the Amazon Air service, the delivery took place on 7 December, although it was only revealed on 14 December.
The Cambridge fulfilment center is home to the drones, which, once the ordered package is on board, travel along an automated track to the launch area.
The drones then take off and fly completely autonomously, guided by GPS to their destination.
They are capable of carrying items weighing up to 5lbs, so don’t expect your 60″ flat screen TV to be delivered to your doorstep anytime soon.
This comes among growing news of Amazon delivery trucks being robbed, as happened in Milwaukee when suspects robbed a delivery driver of her keys. Drones would be a cheaper and safer alternative to delivery trucks.
Amazon Delivery Drivers Sue
A trio of drivers who deliver packages through Amazon’s Flex program this week filed a lawsuit against the online retail giant, arguing drivers should be treated as employees instead of independent contractors and subject to minimum wage and overtime protections.
Because drivers have to pay for their own vehicle expenses such as gas and maintenance as well as phone bills, the plaintiffs allege their wages fall below mandated minimums. More from the filing:
“Drivers receive (unpaid) training regarding how to interact with customers and how to handle issues they encounter while making deliveries. They must follow Amazon’s instructions regarding where to make deliveries, in what order, and which route to take. Drivers can be penalized or terminated for missing scheduled shifts. Drivers also must follow requirements and rules imposed on them by Amazon and are subject to termination, based on Amazon’s discretion and/or their failure to adhere to these requirements”
Amazon provided this statement in response to the case: “With Amazon Flex, anyone can earn up to $25 per hour by delivering packages when and where they want. We launched the program last year and feedback from Flex drivers has been very positive — they really enjoy being their own boss.”
Amazon’s Need for speed and Alleviating Delivery Drivers
The aim is that all orders made using Amazon Air will be delivered within 30 minutes.
The trial will be expanded to dozens of customers living close to the warehouse in the coming months.
There is not net yet any news when and if drone delivery service will be offered in the United States by Amazon.