After launching Amazon Prime’s one day delivery, the ecommerce major is now eyeing a delivery time of under 30 minutes with its latest Prime Air drone design.
Yesterday at the Amazon’s re:MARS Conference, the company unveiled a new design of fully electric drones that can fly up to 15 miles and deliver packages under five pounds to customers in less than 30 minutes. These drones are part of the company’s Prime Air program which the company has been testing in multiple international locations through its development centers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Austria, France, and Israel.
Amazon is betting on its fulfillment and delivery network to scale Prime Air both quickly and efficiently. The company expects to start delivering packages via drone to customers within months.
The new Amazon drones has a hybrid design, which combines a helicopter’s vertical takeoffs and landings with an airplane’s efficient and aerodynamic nature. Drone is also capable of transitioning between these two modes – from vertical-mode to airplane mode, and back to vertical mode.
“We know customers will only feel comfortable receiving drone deliveries if they know the system is incredibly safe. So we’re building a drone that isn’t just safe, but independently safe, using the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technologies,” Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, said in a company blog.
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This means that the drone will be able to independently react to unexpected situations. For instance, if the drone’s flight environment changes, or the drone‘s mission commands it to come into contact with an object that wasn’t there previously, the drone will refuse to do so, thus making it independently safe.
During transit, the Amazon drone will be able to detect both static objects such as chimney and moving objects like a paraglider or helicopter by using diverse sensors, advanced algorithms and Amazon’s proprietary computer-vision and machine learning algorithms.
At the time of landing, Amazon’s drone will be able to account for the position of people, animals, and even wires such as clothesline, telephone or electrical wires. Company claims to have been achieved this using explainable stereo vision in parallel with sophisticated AI algorithms trained to detect people and animals from above.
Further for wire detection, Amazon has invented computer-vision techniques which will help the drone to recognize and avoid wires as it descends into, and ascend out of, a customer’s yard.
Electricity powered drones also fuels the company’s Shipment Zero vision to make all Amazon shipments net zero carbon, with 50% of all shipments net zero by 2030.
Drone Delivery In India
Earlier In 2018, Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) had legalised flying commercial drones and also announced a policy called Drone Regulations 1.0.
Indian parliamentarian Suresh Prabhu said at the policy launch that the drone market in India holds the potential of hitting over $1 Tn. The Indian government had planned to develop drone manufacturing not only for the domestic market but abroad as well, he added.
The drone regulations 1.0 had banned the use of drones for delivery of goods and food but the Indian Minister of State for Civil Aviation had hinted at including a clause on the application of drones for ecommerce and food delivery in the draft Drone Regulations 2.0.
Indian Food delivery major, Zomato has also been planning to launch drone-based food delivery in India. The company had acquired a Lucknow-based drone startup TechEagle Innovations in late 2018, which it believed could help boost its drone delivery plans by creating a hub-to-hub delivery network powered by hybrid multi-rotor drones