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Amazon makes first drone delivery

Roy chinatopwin 2016-12-27 17:41:27
  • 8 hours ago
  • From the sectionTechnology
Image copyrightAM

Retail giant Amazon has made its first delivery using a drone, in the UK.
   The package arrived safely at its destination in Cambridge, 13 minutes after being ordered.
A video showing the process details how the order was completed using an electrically 
powered drone flying at up to 400ft (122m).
 One sceptic questioned how much of a "game changer" the limited trial of the service would be.
As part of the testing for the Amazon Air service, the delivery took place on 7 December, 
although it was only revealed on 14 December.The Cambridge fulfilment centre is home to the 
drones, which, once the ordered package is on board, travel along an automated track to the
launch area.The drones then take off and fly completely autonomously, guided by GPS to their 
destination.They are capable of carrying items weighing up to 2.7kg (5lbs).

Need for speed
The aim is that all orders made using Amazon Air will be delivered within 30 minutes.
The trial will be expanded to dozens of customers living close to the warehouse in the 
coming months.

The safety of drones has come under the spotlight in recent months.
There have been reports of near-misses this year between drones and aircraft atLondon 
Stansted and Cornwall Airport Newquay."Safety is our top priority," Amazon said on its website.
 "We are currently permitted to operate during daylight hours when there are low winds and 
good visibility, but not in rain, snow or icy conditions."There are Prime Air development centres
 in the US, UK, Austria and Israel. The company is also testing its drone vehicles in "multiple 
international locations".

Retail shifts
"This is a marketing coup for Amazon," said Natalie Berg, an analyst at Planet Retail.
"The real significance here is the impact it has on shopper expectations.
"Last year, same-day delivery was considered impressive; now it's all about 13 minute lead 
times."Over the past few years, we've seen a proliferation in delivery options as retailers 
scramble to cater to changing shopping habits."Fulfilment has become a firm battleground in 
retail and the most successful retailers today are those who can deliver products to shoppers 
in the quickest, most convenient and economical way."Drone delivery is another string to 
Amazon's bow, but it's certainly not an industry game changer."

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