Amazon Unveils Delivery Drones

'Prime Air' could be just a few years away

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 1, 2013 11:38 PM CST | Updated Dec 2, 2013 7:40 AM CST
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(Newser) – No joke: Amazon has been working on delivery drones and CEO Jeff Bezos believes they could be zipping goods through the air to customers less than five years from now as part of its "Prime Air" service. The "Octocopter" unmanned aerial vehicles in development are capable of flying packages from Amazon warehouses to customers' doorsteps in as little as 30 minutes from the time the customer hits the "Buy" button, Bezos told CBS' 60 Minutes.

Before the big surprise, Bezos told producers, "If you can guess what it is, then ... I will give you half my fortune and send you to Vegas with it." He says the drones can carry packages up to five pounds, which accounts for around 86% of the items Amazon sells, notes TechCrunch. In its FAQ, Amazon predicts that one day seeing Prime Air vehicles in the sky "will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today"—and it will be ready to go whenever the FAA introduces regulations for private drones, which could be as soon as 2015.

A Prime Air drone with an Amazon delivery bucket.
A "Prime Air" drone with an Amazon delivery bucket.   (ZakWorldNEWS)
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Footage of a recent Prime Air test flight.   (YouTube)

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