It will be two years ago this week that Amazon first unveiled Prime Air, its ambitions drone-based package delivery initiative. The company is now showing off a new version.
Here’s the latest promo video showing off the new hybrid design.
According to the company, there will be different models designed for different environments in the future. This particular one can fly for fifteen miles and knows what is happening around it. It can sense and avoid obstacles on the ground and in the air.
When the machine arrives at its destination, it scans the ground, slowly lowers itself for landing and drops off the package. It then flies straight back up and heads back.
“We’re excited about Prime Air — a future delivery system from Amazon designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using small unmanned aerial vehicles, also called drones,” the company says on the project’s website. “Prime Air has great potential to enhance the services we already provide to millions of customers by providing rapid parcel delivery that will also increase the overall safety and efficiency of the transportation system. Putting Prime Air into service will take some time, but we will deploy when we have the regulatory support needed to realize our vision.”
The new model takes off vertically and flies horizontally. It can go up to 55 miles per hour. As you can see from the image and video, it lacks the quadcopter design Amazon initially showed off.
It remains to be seen when we might see these things actually out delivering packages to people here in the U.S. There are still regulatory hurdles keeping it from becoming a reality. The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to establish rules for commercial drone in the coming months.
Image via Amazon (YouTube)