Amazon Prime Air will now deliver things to people on a drone, almost straight away

The first delivery took 13 minutes between ordering and delivery, according to Amazon boss Jeff Bezos

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 14 December 2016 15:43 GMT
Amazon completes first drone delivery in the UK

Amazon will now fly things to people's houses to deliver them.

The company has completed the first ever Prime Air delivery, dropping an order off at someone's house just 13 minutes after they'd ordered it.

For now, the drone deliveries are in a private – and largely mysterious – testing process. It is trying a range of different drones, it has said, flying them around different environments in the UK as part of its secretive tests.

But eventually the company intends to roll out drone deliveries to everyone across the world. When they do, they hope that deliveries will arrive in 30 minutes and dropped at people's houses.

"It looks like science fiction, but it's real," Amazon said. "One day, seeing Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road."

The successful test was conducted on December 7, and saw a package dropped into a special collection area in someone's house.

Amazon features a question-and-answer section on its Prime Now page, which makes clear that the trial won't be especially widespread and that it could be limited by things like the amount of light adn the weatehr conditions.

All of that will be done in part to ensure that the drones are safe, it said.

"Safety is our top priority," the page reads. "Our vehicles will be built with multiple redundancies, as well as sophisticated “sense and avoid” technology. Additionally, through our private trial in the UK, we will gather data to continue improving the safety and reliability of our systems and operations."

At the moment, the trials will be limited to the UK – where they are thought to be being carried out in the Cambridgeshire countryside. But eventually they could expand to other countries, depending on the view of authorities.

"We are working with regulators and policymakers in various countries in order to make Prime Air a reality for our customers around the world, and expect to continue to do so," the page reads.

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