Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Amazon Reaching New Heights

Dylan Selbst
Opinions Editor

As early as 2015, you may look in the sky and observe what looks like a fleet of mechanical birds, however what you actually will see is Amazon’s newest innovation in the realm of online buying. These drones are unmanned flying helicopter-like robots designed to deliver packages to customers directly from warehouses. They are part of a program called Amazon Prime Air and are far from science fiction.
 Currently, Amazon has real, functional prototypes and expects many of these drones to be in use over the next few years. These drones take packages directly from where they are in stock and are programed with GPS technology to fly to the doorstep of nearby Amazon customers in less than 30 minutes.
 This concept could be a great way to bypass ground shipping and would allow customers to quickly and easily receive packages. However, the technology must first be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Currently, it is illegal for private corporations such as Amazon to operate and deliver packages with unmanned drones, but the FAA is expected to allow it by 2015.
 Some major complications with this concept include vandalism to the product while it is in flight and the practicality of drone usage over long distances. While there are still many obstacles in the way of this concept becoming a reality, Amazon is very optimistic.
 If all goes according to Amazon’s plan, their lines of unmanned drones will be released by mid-2015, and we will be telling our grandchildren about the times when mail was delivered in cars.

Photo Courtesy of Amazon

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