Amazon testing autonomous drones, can deliver packages in 30 minutes
Amazon sells 300 items a second, and now it's testing Prime Air drones that can deliver packages to customers 30 minutes after they order.
In their current state, the autonomous drones can deliver a 5lb package up to 10 miles away from an Amazon fulfilment centre. Amazon has 96 such warehouses scattered throughout the US to speed up product shipping times. The drones wouldn't be able to handle every product or to deliver to all addresses, but in urban areas it could prove useful.
Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon, revealed on 60 Minutes on CBS on Sunday that the drones could take to the air in the next few years, with Amazon currently testing the reliability and safety of the drones.
Also the drones are not yet ready approved for this type of use because of FAA regulations. Bezos said the earliest the regulations could be changed is 2015.
"The hardest challenge of making this happen is going to be demonstrating to the standards of the FAA that this is a safe thing to do," Bezos told host Charlie Rose. "I don't want anyone to think this is just around the corner. This is years of additional work from this point. I'm an optimist - four or five years, I think so."
Amazon hasn't been shy about shaking up shipping times in the past. In October the company announced it would begin delivering packages on Sunday for customers in Los Angeles, New York, and London. Amazon is working with the US Postal Service and its own vehicles in the UK, with plans for more cities to have Sunday deliveries down the line.
The 60 Minutes interview came before the biggest shopping day of the year on Monday, known as "Cyber Monday".