- In a “60 Minutes” interview in 2013, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos showcased his firm’s new “octocopter” delivery drones, and predicted they could be operational in five years’ time.
- It’s now the end of 2018, and Amazon’s delivery drones are yet to appear.
- To be fair to Bezos, he admitted back in 2013 that there was a lot of work that needed to go into making the drones safe.
- Amazon said it still committed to making drone delivery a reality.
Back in 2013, Jeff Bezos predicted that Amazon’s drone delivery service would have lift off in five years’ time. Fast forward to the end of 2018, and the drones are yet to materialise.
Bezos, now the world’s richest man, showed off Amazon’s “octocopter” delivery drones to CBS’s “60 Minutes” in 2013. He said drones would be able to deliver items up to five pounds in weight within a 10-mile radius of an Amazon warehouse.
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.”
To be fair to Bezos, he admitted 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.
And although the drones have not launched, that doesn’t mean Amazon has halted development. In 2016, Amazon started testing them out on UK sites, and in July 2017, a patent filing revealed it was working on a way for drones to capture data by scanning people’s homes.
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.
“We are committed to making our goal of delivering packages by drones in 30 minutes or less a reality,” an Amazon spokeswoman told AP, which was first to spot that Bezos pledge in 2013 is yet to materialise.
Business Insider contacted Amazon to ask how the development of its delivery drones is going.
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