Amazon Prime Air, the drone delivery service, has finally become a reality. The finished drone has been shown off by Jeremy Clarkson who is fast becoming the new face of Amazon.
The drone delivery service has been in the making for some time and is finally ready in a hybrid machine. The drone can take off vertically, like a helicopter, but once at altitude uses a forward-power propeller and wings to fly like a plane.
The end result is a drone that's able to travel up to 15 miles and can fly at over 55mph. It's even smart enough to detect obstacles so it can avoid them while in flight. The drone can also spot a landing logo, that you can place on the ground where you want it to stop. It'll then descend vertically and open its bays to leave the package safely on the delivery spot. You'll even get an alert before it arrives so you can be ready to grab it before a would-be thief does.
In the demo video the drone was shown delivering a pair of football boots. So don't expect it to start dropping off your gym weights anytime soon. But do expect a rapid response, as this teaser video claims you can expect deliveries within half an hour. Since this is clearly a last-resort emergency delivery option we don't expect it to be cheap. That said, it's part of Prime by name, so it may even be included in the yearly subscription - which we'd expect to go up in price.
So what's next? While the drone may be ready it's still a matter of working out the legal issues with the air authorities in countries for launch. So when isn't clear. Here's hoping that happens sooner rather than later.