Amazon Dispatches Delivery Drones to Testing Phase

By: | April 13th, 2014

Remember the Amazon Prime Air drone? We were all talking about the possibilities, and even the liabilities, just a few months ago. But the e-tailing giant’s UAV for delivery hasn’t exactly been on the tips of tongues as of late. Make no mistake, though. Jeff Bezos and his company are still working away on replacing your package’s delivery driver with a delivery drone.

In his recently-published 2013 shareholders letter, Bezos informed his colleagues that the company had tested its drones extensively with its seventh and eighth generation design phases planned soon. The letter is important as it comes after a recent court ruling that gave permission to small unmanned aircraft for commercial use, meaning that other companies can venture into the field too.

But Amazon has a clear early advantage. Amazon Prime Air is hoping to revolutionize home delivery for Amazon by delivering orders by drone in 30 minutes or less.


Bezos’ letter touched on many other issues facing Amazon and made mention of the company’s offer to pay up to $5,000 to employees that would like to leave the company. He said in the letter that failure will come to the company at times but they need to find ways to overcome it.

Failure comes part and parcel with invention. It’s not optional. We understand that and believe in failing early and iterating until we get it right,” he wrote. “When this process works, it means our failures are relatively small in size (most experiments can start small), and when we hit on something that is really working for customers, we double-down on it with hopes to turn it into an even bigger success.


“However, it’s not always as clean as that. Inventing is messy, and over time, it’s certain that we’ll fail at some big bets too.”


Bezos and Amazon are confident that Amazon Prime Air will be a success and a huge milestone for the company, despite the pre-flight challenges Amazon faces. Who knows? The drones could even be drafted to be a part of the new Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service in the future, which would mean you could have a six-pack delivered to your doorstep in 30 minutes or less!


Jonathan Keane

Irish journalist writing on business, tech and engineering.


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