Amazon to Deliver Packages Using Drones

I believe we’re witnessing the birth of a new transportation mode, one that will take many years to develop and mature (but will probably happen sooner than we think), and one that will make our current discussions about driverless cars and same-day delivery sound silly in retrospect.

I wrote those words back in February 2013 in Drones – The Birth of a New Transportation Mode. Well, it seems like Amazon (who else?!) is on the forefront of making “delivery by drone” a reality. On the television program 60 Minutes tonight, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled a new delivery system the company’s R&D team has been developing called Amazon Prime Air; the goal of the system is to get packages into customers’ hands in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles. Check out the video below:

According to the Prime Air website, Amazon expects Prime Air vehicles to be “as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today” and it hopes “the FAA’s rules [regarding the use of unmanned aerial vehicles] will be in place as early as sometime in 2015” and the company will be ready to deploy the system at that time.

As I said back in February, aside from 3D printing and teleportation (if it ever happens), drones have the greatest potential to truly transform the way we transport goods. And after watching this video from Amazon, I now realize that the days of seeing drones as a mode of transportation are much closer than I originally thought.

What do you think of Amazon Prime Air? Do you believe drones will emerge as a new transportation mode in the years ahead? Post a comment and share your perspective on this topic.