It might sound like something out of a sci-fi or cyberpunk movie but apparently, Amazon is seriously thinking about using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in their recently unveiled Amazon Prime Air service.
The service isn’t available yet, but Amazon is in the process of testing it, and hopes to roll out the service in the next 5 years pending approval from the Federal Aviation Administration. Once it does, customers can expect their purchases to be delivered by one of these UAVs in as little as 30 minutes after their purchase. Now that’s what we call speedy.
Not the first UAV delivery service out there
Now for those of us on the other side of the pond, this might not be of any use to us unless Amazon starts sending drones over to sunny Singapore. Not really a good idea since people might think we’re being invaded by foreign powers, but it brings up some interesting possibilities for some of our local e-tailers here (we’re looking at you Zalora).
Amazon isn’t the first company to try this - a China-based delivery company called SF Express is already testing out their own drone delivery army. In Australia, a Sydney-based text book rental startup called Zookal will be rolling out it’s own UAV delivery service in March next year. Closer to US soil, Matternet, a California-based start-up plans to set up an international network of drones to ship packages from local shops.
So forget how sci-fi it sounds, UAV deliveries are becoming a reality. And if you think that’s all they're are doing, you're dead wrong. Check out why they’re taking off in a big way in this feature of ours. Let's just hope that these drones don't gain sentience and decide to drop stuff other than parcels.
SF Express drone delivery image from Weibo