Have you ever thought about taking advantage of a delivery system that, instead of leaving the goods at your home using trucks, delivers them using drones? This looks like a scene from those science fiction movies, doesn't it? But luckily, Amazon is making it possible, thanks to its new service called “Amazon Prime Air”. It is still being tested, but it already promises to deliver a fast and quality delivery service.

Prime Air vehicles, as Amazon's drones are called, will deliver packages to customers in up to 30 minutes. According to the company itself, this innovative service has enormous potential to increase the safety and overall efficiency of the transport system it currently uses. Next, see how Amazon Prime Air will work and all the technology involved behind this incredible service. Be sure to check:

How will the Amazon Prime Air service work?

The operation is quite simple. After a customer buys a product weighing up to 5 pounds (something around 2.26 kilograms) on the Amazon website and clicks on the “Prime Air 30 Minute Delivery” button, the Amazon distribution center is triggered. The product passes through conveyor belts until it reaches the loading area, where the drones are located. These pick up the merchandise and go to the informed address. This entire process takes up to 30 minutes.

How did you come up with the idea of ​​delivering products using drones?

In an interview with Yahoo, Paul Misener, Amazon's VP of Global Public Policy, said the idea came from customers' own desire to receive their merchandise quickly. Shortly after joining the company in early 2000, Paul purchased a product on Amazon. His son, who accompanied the purchase, ran to the front door of the residence and was waiting for the truck, eager to receive the order right away.

Paul considered this attitude a very high expectation of delivery. Then he had to explain to his son that just because they bought something, it didn't mean it would be at the front door seconds later. And it's not just Paul's son who is in this expectation. Millions of Amazon customers are also in this state after purchasing a product. And thinking about serving it, the company decided to create the Prime Air service.

What technology is used in drones?

Drones are automated, meaning they are not operated by personnel. They have a technology called sense-and-avoid, which means “seeing” and “avoiding obstacles”. Many people think that the drones that will be used in the service will be the common ones, found in stores. But they are very different, as they are designed and built by Amazon itself to fulfill a single purpose: to deliver goods.

As for how drones work, Paul Misener explains that they act like horses, not cars. He explains: if you have a small tree in your backyard and, for some reason, you want to hit it, just do it. But if you use a horse to hit the tree, the animal will see it in front of you and dodge it. Amazon drones act like horses in that they are programmed to 'see' obstacles and avoid them.

Each drone used will weigh about 55 pounds (something around 25 kilograms), and will be able to carry packages of up to 5 pounds. It has the ability to reach a height of 400 feet (something around 122 meters tall) and travel a distance of 10 miles (something around 16 kilometers). Its design is constantly being perfected, in order to fly over the urban environment in the best possible way.

When will the service actually be available?

Buyers will be able to choose Amazon Prime Air as a delivery option once the airline obtains the necessary regulatory support to carry out operations. Today, too many regulations, particularly in the US, have prevented Amazon and other retailers from quickly launching their delivery services. But the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has already allowed Amazon to test its drones, even imposing a series of restrictions.

For the FAA, drone safety is one of the main issues to be studied. As a result, experts are spending a good deal of time crafting rules for operating commercial drones. According to FAA administrator Michael Huerta, the agency will likely finalize the rules for commercial operations by the end of spring 2016. From there, Amazon can streamline the process of deploying its service.

And you, what did you think of the Amazon Prime Air service? Do you believe that the company's drones have increased the safety and efficiency of the transportation system? Tell us your opinion in the comments!

Written by

Sky.One Team

This content was produced by SkyOne's team of cloud and digital transformation experts.