Today is Cyber Monday, the day where all lovers of Internet
commerce look for online holiday deals in the follow up to the
Black Friday post-Thanksgiving (barely post-Thanksgiving nowadays)
specials. Amazon is offering up all sorts of
For Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos, now seemed like a good time to
unveil their latest attempts to improve the online shopping
experience: Drones. In an
interview with 60 minutes Sunday, Bezos introduced
Charlie Rose to their “octocopters,” drones they are hoping to use
to deliver purchases to customers within 30 minutes of them
pressing the “buy” button online.
The service will be called Amazon Prime Air. They’ve already put
page for it with a video demonstration and short FAQ:
Bezos notes in the interview that the main barrier to offering
the service right is that the Federal Aviation Administration does
not yet permit private commercial drone use until it hammers out
all the regulations. It may be years before the FAA gets guidelines
in place, but Amazon says they’ll be ready to go once they do.
In the 60 minutes interview, Bezos says the drone
deliveries will originate directly from their “fulfillment centers”
(distribution centers) and probably will range about 10 miles at
the start. That would be useful for anybody living near their
nearly 100 warehouses, but it will still leave lots of folks out.
To me it seems like the people in rural, out-of-the-way places
would benefit more from drone deliveries than those in urban
centers, because of how costly and inefficient it is to send trucks
out there. But I suppose you have to learn to drone-deliver copies
of Fifty Shades of Grey to your neighbors without dropping
them on anybody’s heads before stretching those propellers.
Presumably, if they’re able to work out the drones with the FAA,
Reason fans will be able to shop online at Amazon, have their
purchases delivered by octocopters, and support us all at the same time.
from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/02/amazon-turns-to-drones-as-latest-market