Amazon has officially begun delivery of customer orders using drones in Lockeford, California, and College Station, Texas, the United States.
The project launch, however, comes six months after the official announcement made in June 2022. The project tagged Amazon Prime Air gained the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval for operation in August. With last week’s official launch, the drones delivered a few packages before the end of the year.
The drones would only deliver items weighing around 5 lb -a weight that accounts for 85% of its shipments. The retail giant hopes to deliver packages within 60 minutes using its Hexagonal MK27-2 drone through this service.
How Amazon Prime Air works
To use this service, customers in both towns would register and await Amazon’s confirmation. Once Amazon confirms that the package can be delivered, customers can then place orders. After an order is placed, customers will be issued an estimated delivery time alongside tracking info.
According to Amazon, the drones will fly to the location and descend to a safe height to make the delivery. The tech giant added that the drones would immediately leave the location after delivering the packages to the customers’ backyard.
Why Amazon chose the two towns
Lockeford is a small town with about 3,500 residents and is just a few miles away from Sacramento and Stockton. Similarly, College Station is about 100 miles from Houston and also hosts Texas A&M University. These towns’ medium sizes and other features have made the two locations ideal for drone delivery services.
Meanwhile, Amazon has disclosed that it will notify customers when the drone delivery service becomes available in their area.
Speaking to newsmen, Amazon Air spokesperson Natalie Banke said the major aim is to introduce drones to the skies safely. She added:
“We are starting in these communities and will gradually expand deliveries to more customers over time.”
A look at Amazon’s delivery drone
For this service, Amazon is using its six-propeller MK27-2 hexagonal delivery drones. The drones are designed to reduce high-frequency sound waves and, as a result, help the company focus on safe transit.
According to the FAA’s assessment, the drones aren’t noisy and are likely not to cause disturbances. The assessment also added that the drones wouldn’t affect wildlife
According to Engadget, the drones have a higher tolerance and are also functional during light rains. The Amazon team also designed new propellers to help reduce the noise by 25%.
Though the drones would work autonomously using algorithms, the retail giant still keeps an eye on deliveries. The drones have been designed and programmed to identify and avoid power lines, chimneys, and other obstacles.