Despite the fact that he already had a prototype to show off, as well as a video showing how the service might work, it seemed to many that unveiling the proposed service the day before Cyber Monday was merely an attempt to get Amazons name in the headlines during a critical period for e-tailers, and that talk of the idea would simply fade away over time.
In a recent letterto shareholders, however, Bezos makes it clear that not only is there a team of engineers currently working on developing the Prime Air delivery drone, but that its actually been very busy indeed.
Besides safety concerns, Amazon will have to find a way of building a relatively quiet flying machine.The Prime Air team is already flight testing our 5th and 6th generation aerial vehicles, Bezos wrote in the letter, adding, We are in the design phase on generations 7 and 8.
Amazons plan is to build a machine capable of delivering packages of up to five pounds to addresses within 10 miles of its US fulfillment centers, though even if the engineers design a machine capable of doing this, Bezos is well aware there areother obstaclesto overcome before the service has any chance of getting off the ground in four or five years.
The hardest challenge in making this happen is going to be demonstrating this to the standards of the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) that this is a safe thing to do, Bezos said in a 60 Minutes interview last year when he first pulled the wraps off the idea.
Besides safety concerns, Amazon will have to find a way of building a relatively quiet flying machine, for those living close to its fulfillment centers wont take too kindly to having their peace shattered by an army of noisy drones passing overhead, no matter what time of day.
And as for those promising to blast theWebgiants octocopters out of the sky if they see one like this guy in Colorado who said he wont hesitate to shoot one down if has a chance and will happily go to jail with a smile over my face itll surely take more than a few Amazon vouchers and a free Prime subscription to placate them.
Theres clearly some way to go for Amazons Prime Air project, but according to Bezoss recent letter to shareholders, the idea really does appear to be moving closer to becoming a reality.
Amazon Is Looking Into A Drone Delivery Option.... Seriously.