It's been almost two years to the day since Amazon shared its plans to deploy an army of flying drones to deliver packages to your home, and no, they're still not in service. But it's not for a lack of trying or iteration.
In fact, Amazon just released a new commercial for the program starring none other than Jeremy Clarkson, whose Top Gear successor is headed to Prime Instant Video next year. Amazon's ad, seen below, shows an updated design for the package-carrying drone, but as Clarkson says in the clip, the company plans to have "a whole family of Amazon drones; different designs for different environments."
The one we see in the clip is designed to deliver packages within a 15-mile radius of the warehouse, and it can store a small package (five pounds or less) within its frame, which looks better suited to deliveries than the plastic crate-holding version seen in 2013. The drone, which would weigh less than 55 pounds and fly under 400 feet in the air - uses autonomous threat detection to avoid airborne obstacles: a "sense and avoid" system, as it's described.
And then it lands in your yard atop an Amazon marker that you'll place on the ground, before zipping back to the warehouse. Amazon says these deliveries can take 30 minutes or less to complete, making it ideal for last-minute needs without relying on a human to drive over from the warehouse.
When will we actually see these drones in action? Well, various government regulations currently stand in the way of their implementation. Amazon has used its considerable resources and influence to start changing these laws, and making this initiative more and more public can only help sway the minds of those in power.
As Amazon writes, "We will deploy when and where we have the regulatory support needed to safely realize our vision." We hope its soon, if only to have a box of biscuits delivered on demand for the sheer thrill of seeing Prime Air in action.