Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos went on 60 Minutes this weekend to promote his new idea for “delivery drones”. These unmanned flying vehicles would be capable of carrying packages of up to five pounds to homes within ten miles of its 96 fulfillment centers around the world. However, experts aren’t believing the seriousness of the claims.
The small octocopters work by picking up packages at the end of conveyer belt, then carrying them with multiple spinning blades through the air and to your doorstep. They would be expected to deliver the package to nearby homes within thirty minutes or less from the time they shipped.
Of course, there are a couple of obvious problems with this. First would be the most obvious: what if the package was dropped? It would present not only a damage risk to the package, but a serious safety concern for those on the ground. Second, regulations for flying objects exist in every region where Amazon operates, and getting around them could be tricky.
Both scenario has presented problem, but Bezos isn’t worried.
It will work, and it will happen, and it’s going to be a lot of fun, he boldly stated during the 60 Minutes interview, as he showed off the small flying devices that he had proudly created.
Ultimately, that tells us all we need to know about this plan. It is meant to be ‘fun’, not practical. Cyber Monday is upon us, the shopping tradition that provides the online equivalent to Black Friday. Hundreds of items will be bought from Amazon alone every second, and so the logistics of using these drones for even a fraction of them is impractical, putting it kindly.
But the obvious publicity stunt is clever and unexpected, certainly another excellent bit of innovation from an already creative corporation. Amazon has managed to stretch their way into various industries in revolutionary ways. So while this is not going to last for long, it is still a fascinating idea that could actually have more solid implications in the future.
Could Amazon be making bolder moves in the direction of shipping? Given how much they ship, and how they have entered themselves into so many markets in the past, it doesn’t seem far fetched in the least.
So to all those experts who are cynically scoffing at Bezos flying machines: come on, they are fun. Stop being such Scrooge’s!