Amazon is officially delivering packages by autonomous aerial drones. The online retailer announced today that the first real-world trials for its Prime Air service have begun in the Cambridge area of the UK.
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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos first announced the company’s drone delivery plans in December 2013. Today, the retailer said the first successful delivery of its Prime Air service was made on December 7 to the first of two customers in Cambridge.
The company stated the drones can take packages to customers that weight up to 5 pounds, and it takes about 30 minutes after ordering a product for it to be delivered to a person’s home. The local Amazon fulfillment center has thousands of items to purchase for drone delivery. The aerial drones themselves fly up to 400 feet and are totally automated, with no human pilot needed.
Amazon says this trial will slowly expand to hundreds of people in the Cambridge area. However, since this is supposed to be a test of Prime Air, there’s no word on when Amazon will expand it to other markets. That will likely take a long time, as governments try to pass laws to regulate the use of these kinds of devices.