We Just Got Our Best Look Yet at Amazon’s Flying Drone Delivery Program

Amazon today shared an update on its “Prime Air” drone delivery service, first introduced in 2013 with a teaser that many thought was a joke.

On a newly-updated Amazon Prime Air landing page, Amazon shares an updated Prime Air drone design:

The new Amazon Prime Air drone delivery prototype. (Amazon)

Alongside that update goes a pair of new videos, one starring controversial former “Top Gear” star and recent Amazon Studios employee Jeremy Clarkson, detailing what Amazon Prime Air will be like in real life.

That includes some sweet footage of the drone grabbing a package and taking flight:

The eventual goal is to deliver packages weighing five pounds or less within half an hour. Amazon VP of Prime Air Gur Kimchi was quoted earlier this year as saying, “Prime Air is trying to get as close as possible to real teleportation — without breaking the laws of physics.” 

And in an FAQ on the Amazon Prime Air website, Amazon reassures customers that far from science fiction, this is very real.

“One day, seeing Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road,” Amazon writes.

Amazon also says that this isn’t the final design for Prime Air, and that the retailer is testing as many as a dozen different design prototypes, intended for different uses. As TechCrunch notes, the drone design revealed today is much larger than previous prototypes we’ve seen:

An earlier prototype of the Amazon Prime Air drone. (Amazon)

The drones are being developed in research centers in the United States, United Kingdom, and Israel, Amazon says. Recently, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said that the UK is a likely candidate for being one of the first places to start seeing Amazon Prime Air drones take flight. 

Commercial drones are already a reality.

BI Intelligencetakes an in-depth look at the most important aspects, including market forecasts for commercial applications, regulatory process, and the leading players. 

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