Amazon is advancing its drone program with great speed. This is not a joke. Say goodbye to the brown trucks.
The company is developing a variety of UAVs for use as delivery vehicles.
"These are quite different than the drones that you can buy in a store and fly around," says Paul Misener, Amazon's VP for global public policy, in a Yahoo News interview. "These are highly automated drones. They have what is called sense-and-avoid technology. That means, basically, seeing and then avoiding obstacles."
"These drones are more like horses than cars," says Misener.
Misener: Prime Air is a future delivery service that will get packages to customers within 30 minutes of them ordering it online at Amazon.com. The goals we've set for ourselves are: The range has to be over 10 miles. These things will weigh about 55 pounds each, but they'll be able to deliver parcels that weigh up to five pounds. It turns out that the vast majority of the things we sell at Amazon weigh less than five pounds.
Pogue: And will it cost more or less than a regular package?
Misener: I don't know that we've priced it out yet.
Pogue: OK, a few questions pop up right away. What if I'm not home?
Misener: It gets delivered to your doorstep, or wherever you want in your yard, just as it would be if it were delivered by the UPS truck.
Pogue: What if there's some guy with a shotgun who sees that I'm getting a TV and wants to shoot it down?
Misener: I suppose they could shoot at trucks, too.