Amazon has been teasing us with their ideas and ambitions for setting drones aloft with our freshly bought packages for some time now. The drone concepts and prototypes have taken various forms and evolved over time. They’ve been teased as replacements for traditional delivery and supplements to it, but all of the proposals have come with the caveat that development is early and we will likely not see the drones in the wild for some time. The newest one, touted as a hybrid design, may just be the best drone yet. This new hybrid drone is supposedly able to get a package to you in thirty minutes or less.
This newest drone from Amazon, in a YouTube demonstration hosted by the effervescent Jeremy Clarkson, the new drone is depicted taking a package into its fuselage at an Amazon warehouse not far from the scene of a purchase. The drone then ascends vertically like a helicopter to about four hundred feet. At this point, the drone’s back propeller turns on and the zippy little copter is now an airplane. The drone zooms into action at a fairly high speed and utilizes what Amazon is calling “Detect and Avoid” technology, allowing it to see obstacles at ground level and in the air so it can make its way to you quickly and without much fuss. Once the drone finds its mark, it checks the ground below for a safe landing zone, lowers down to drop the package off safely and then goes back up into the sky to attend to other superhuman feats of delivery.
The new drone has some obvious implications, some of which were even pointed out in the comments section of the YouTube video. With high-crime areas for instance, a drone could presumably be shot down, stolen as it lands or watched by a would-be thief to score the package as soon as it drops. Because of this, more than a few commentators came to the consensus that Amazon would most likely simply not use the drone in these areas. These concerns, along with applicable drone altitude and no-fly-zone laws, may have Amazon scratching their heads or at least delaying deployment for a while longer.