A range of 25 kilometers, the promise to be delivered in less than 30 minutes, the capacity for carrying parcels of a little over two pounds: Amazon has not done in half-measure on Wednesday during the announcement of its new drone delivery. The event took place in the framework of the conference " re: MARCH, the grand annual mass of the group dedicated to artificial intelligence and robotics held in Las Vegas. This announcement is strategically important for the group that had been one of the first, in 2013, to invest in this market niche at the time.
on the technical Side, the flying machine, visually pretty massive, is a hybrid product between the plane and the helicopter. Conceived and designed solely by teams at Amazon, it can take off and land vertically and move in the air horizontally. 100% stand-alone and electric, it is made up of dozens of sensors, including algorithms, so-called stereoscopic view to multiple views, allowing, for example, to identify a chimney to avoid, or a bird to get around. Putting the focus on security, Amazon says it has developed a program of vision specific geometric to detect the overhead cables. Other software also manage the trajectories of the aircraft, which is also "robust and stable than a commercial aircraft," according to Jeff Wilke, senior director of global program consumer Amazon. Particular attention has also been given to the thrusters, specifically designed to make the least noise possible. In Australia, where Google has already begun to make deliveries by drone in some regions, several residents had complained of the noise of the gears.
Contrary to the expectations of Jeff Bezos, its founder, who provided for a commercial development of its uavs by 2018, Amazon is lagging behind. Its competitor Alphabet (parent company Google) and its subsidiary Wing, have taken the lead. At the end of April, they have obtained the permission of the FAA, the us government agency in charge of civil aviation regulations, flying drones trading by obtaining the status of "air carrier". Even if it remains limited, since it prohibits the overflight of crowds, urban areas, or night time flight, this permission opens the way for the development of an economic model from these flying machines. Thanks to it, it is possible for operators to charge their customers a delivery-by-drone, a first in the United States.
Coveted by several other groups, such as UPS or Uber, the permission had not been given to Amazon. The firm of Seattle hope that the presentation of this new drone will accelerate the regulatory process for us that first deliveries could be made "within a few months". For its part, the government agency said in a statement that the approval was given for flight tests and not actual deliveries.
in The United States, the regulatory complexity does not stop there. Several local governments have passed their own anti-drone. Since last July, the city of Greenwood Village in Colorado prohibits the delivery of a drone on private property without prior authorization by example.
Many questions remain unanswered, for the 100 million subscribers Premium Amazon in the world who should benefit from this new type of delivery. Difficult to know when the first deliveries will take place and on what precise geographical area.Updated Date: 07 June 2019, 00:00