For a service that is yet to officially take off (yup, more puns), Amazon has been focusing pretty heavily on its upcoming drone delivery service, Amazon Prime Air. The company has recently released a new video — hosted by former Top Gear front man Jeremy Clarkson — in which the merits and benefits of the new drone delivery are explained in a fun and lighthearted view of a typical family. You can watch the full video below:
The narration touches on several new perks of this updated design. First and foremost, the new design still has VTOL (Vertical take off and landing) capabilities, but once it reaches its destination altitude, it performs more like an airplane with a horizontal flight system. NASA has been toying with similar capabilities with its Greased Lightning drone, as the horizontal flight of an airplane is significantly more efficient than the quad-copter performance of your standard drone. With this new flight system, the Amazon Prime Air drone can reach speeds up to 55 miles per hour, and fly for a range of 15 miles.
The video also touts the new drone’s Sense and Avoidance technology, which would hopefully keep these drones from running into each other, or into buildings, birds, electric poles, etc. Maybe the coolest new perk of the whole system though is the landing and delivery. Upon arriving close to its destination, the drone will return to its quad-copter hover mode and search for a suitable landing spot free from any obstructions. To help out your nearly-instant delivery, you can designate a clear landing spot using a (likely Amazon supplied) doormat of sorts that the drone will find and neatly drop your package upon.
One thing the video doesn’t seem to mention, is the size of these new drones. Based on some of the footage in the video though, these things look huge. The target delivery areas for these drones are more rural or even suburban areas so there should be room for the drones to operate, but as we see more and more stories about people shooting down drones that fly over their houses, Amazon will have to educate the general public before sending their drones out into the world.
What do you think? Are you excited to trim your delivery time down to 30 minutes or possibly even less? Are you wary of any sort of drones flying over your property? Tell us all about it in the comment section below or on any of your favorite social media sites.