Amazon drone deliveries are coming, but Jeff Bezos still missed his own deadline for airborne logistics

Amazon/YouTubeAmazon unveiled its delivery drone which has been in the works since 2013.
  • Amazon showed off a new drone on Wednesday that it says will be delivering packages within “months.”
  • In a “60 Minutes” interview back in 2013, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos showcased his firm’s “octocopter” delivery drones, and predicted they could be operational by 2018.
  • To be fair to Bezos, he admitted at the time that there was a lot of work that needed to go into making the drones safe, and he’s only missed his own deadline by a little under a year.
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Back in 2013, Jeff Bezos predicted that Amazon’s drone delivery service would have lift off in five years’ time. 2018 came and went, and no drones materialised. On Wednesday however, Amazon unveiled its new delivery drone, and said it’s almost ready to put it to work.

Bezos, now the world’s richest man, showed off Amazon’s “octocopter” delivery drones to CBS’s “60 Minutes” in 2013. When asked how long it would take before the drones were up and running, Bezos replied: “I’m an optimist… could it be four, five years? I think so. It will work, and it will happen, and it’s gonna be a lot of fun.”


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Amazon started testing its drones on UK sites in 2016 and in July 2017, a patent filing revealed it was working on a way for drones to capture data by scanning people’s homes.

Bezos said drones would be able to deliver items up to five pounds in weight within a 10-mile radius of an Amazon warehouse. Amazon’s worldwide consumer CEO Jeff Wilke said Wednesday that the the new drone can fly up to 15 miles and deliver packages up to five pounds in weight, so Bezos was pretty on the money.

You can watch the new drone in action here:

To be fair to Bezos he didn’t miss his own deadline by much, and he said back in 2013 that there was a lot of work that needed to go into making the drones safe. “This thing can’t land on somebody’s head while they’re walking around their neighbourhood,” he said.

Industry leaders and analysts told AP that there are still a few obstacles to overcome before delivery drones become a commercial reality, including battery life and pushing through new aviation legislation. However, Amazon seems to have taken the first step in navigating aviation regulation, as the Federal Aviation Administration granted the company permission to test its delivery drones in the US.

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