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Amazon Delivered Its First Customer Package By Drone (usatoday.com) 90

Amazon legally delivered its first Prime order in the United Kingdom last week and is preparing to enter a pilot testing period for drone delivery in rural areas in the country in the coming weeks. From a report on USA Today: The test took place within five miles of its Cambridgeshire drone testing facility outside the university town of Cambridge. The test was done with the approval of Britain's Civil Aviation Authority, which Amazon says plans to allow it to deliver to rural areas once it has amassed sufficient safety data. The test of Prime Air, Amazon's would-be service to deliver packages up to five pounds in 30 minutes or less, took place on Dec. 7, Amazon said. It was for an Amazon Fire TV and bag of popcorn and took 13 minutes from the moment the customer clicked "order" to package delivery. So far the trial includes only two customers who live near Amazon's testing facility. The company hopes to add dozens who lives within a few miles in the coming months. There will be no surcharge for 30-minute drone delivery for these customers, the company said. The Seattle-based company has made available a video of the delivery.
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Amazon Delivered Its First Customer Package By Drone

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    It was another drone. At this rate, the sky will mimic the horde of flying Sentinels in the Matrix.

  • by CloneRanger ( 122623 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2016 @02:25PM (#53484745)

    I would like to predict that eventually robbing a drone in mid-flight will occur. Have you ever seen seagulls trying to steal a piece of food from each other mid-flight?

    • Easily predicted. Search for "ups driver robberies". We don't have our extreme laws protecting the US mail without reason. Sounds like a good job for a drone.
      • We don't have our extreme laws protecting the US mail without reason.

        Out of interest, do the deagulls obey the law in the US?

        • We don't have our extreme laws protecting the US mail without reason.

          Out of interest, do the deagulls obey the law in the US?

          I don't think it's legal to fly over someone and crap on them, so I'd have to say seagulls break the law daily.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Before a mid-air robbery occurs, we'll see at least one of these crash and injure, if not kill, a human.

      Imagine what a sixty pound weight falling from 400 feet would do to a person. 27kg at 9.8 m/sec^2 has a force of 265 Newtons, falling from 122m, delivers 32,330 Joule's of energy. An order of magnitude less than getting hit by a car at 60mph, but still plenty lethal.

  • Apart from the very tired "But what about if someone shoots it down/steals it" criticism, I couldn't help but wonder to myself what happens if the land and/or landscaping around the property is less than ideal. Like un-mowed grass, or very rock/treacherous terrain. Perhaps it can drop the package from a small height?

    I won't deny it looks very cool. But I'm still holding out skepticism to how well this delivery model scales up to the volume amazon truly deals with.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      There is a flat square with a type of qr code that each customer is given before hand. the drone lands on that square.

    • I feel the same way. Maybe smaller yards will be impossible. Perhaps their main concern is reducing costs to rural areas that have less population and more land. Not sure, but personally I never cut my grass "enough" and have a ton of trees and whatnot that could be tricky.

    • Apart from the very tired "But what about if someone shoots it down/steals it" criticism, I couldn't help but wonder to myself what happens if the land and/or landscaping around the property is less than ideal.

      I think the big problem is range. Landing the drone is fine out in the sticks, where people can prepare a small landing area clear of anynearby trees and wires easily. But in the sticks there aren't many houses within the operating range of the drone precisely because of that space. In a city, you ha

  • Amazon legally delivered its first Prime order in the United Kingdom last week Really??
    • by sinij ( 911942 )
      Yep, plus "preparing to enter a pilot testing period for drone delivery" should have been done before they start delivery, not during. What if pilots don't pass?
  • We did this in 2010 and only the local paper cared. Why?
  • What I this? I didn't order Hellfire Missi..>(*$NO CARRIER
  • It'd be easy to say "the sky's the limit." But that's not exactly true any more, is it?

    Says the smug-sounding voice over.

    Only it is the limit, because drones don't work outside an atmosphere, do they?

  • by nightfire-unique ( 253895 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2016 @04:38PM (#53485917)

    I for one think this is very cool. It's energy efficient. It's fast. It relies on the successful execution of many science/tech disciplines.

    What's with all the FUD?

    • In general Slashdot is probably about 75% luddites and 25% science/tech supporters.

      New tech always gets crapped on here.

  • Why does Amazon keep putting out these stupid drone delivery theatre videos? Yes, a quadcopter can lift a 5 pound box and fly 20 minutes out, 20 minutes back with it. And land in a big farmer's field as shown in the video. Now let me see, the market consisting of farmers living 7 miles from an Amazon warehouse dispatch center is how big exactly? Is there even one? And don't forget, this thing will need to be flown with cell coverage for the operator video... there's no way it's going to land autonomously in

  • So, I forget - when these become widespread - are we allowed to shoot them down if they stray over our property? /me considers moving to a drone-traffic nexus

    • Uhh; how do I report that preview doesn't .... preview - it displays something which is not always identical to the posted view?

  • Now they can get their doodads even faster! No need to wait until tomorrow to get your crap and put it in the corner. Now you can pay for it and get it very quickly, and put it in the corner.

Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are Lies, Damn lies, Statistics, Benchmarks, and Delivery dates.

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