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Amazon Builds a New Drone - But Is It Falling Behind Other Drone Delivery Services?

Monday December 5, 2022. 06:04 AM , from Slashdot
Axios reports:
As Amazon prepares to debut its long-delayed Prime Air drone delivery service, it's also showing off a smaller, quieter drone that will be ready in 2024 and could be making regular deliveries in major cities by the end of the decade.

The 80-pound hexagon-shaped aircraft, about 5 and a half feet in diameter, is nimble enough to make deliveries in highly populated areas such as Boston, Atlanta and Seattle. It'll be more capable and less intrusive than the model Amazon is using in its Prime Air service, which will begin in two markets — Lockeford, California, and College Station, Texas — in the coming weeks.... Thousands of items could be eligible for drone delivery as long as they fit in one box and weigh less than 5 pounds total.

The drones fly 50 miles per hour (80 km), according to the article, and 'Upon arrival, the drone descends, scans the area to make sure it's clear, then drops the box from a height of about 12 feet.' (With sturdy packaging to eliminate the need for parachutes or lines.) This drone can even fly in light rain, according to Axios, and has 'sense-and-avoid' safety features 'that allow it to operate at greater distances while skirting other aircraft, people, pets and obstacles.' One Amazon executive estimates that by 2030 Amazon will be delivering 500 million packages by drone each year.

But Axios also suggests Amazon may be lagging its competitors. Walmart already has $3.99 drone delivery in six states — for up to 100,000 different products, weighing up to 10 pounds. And there's also other drone delivery services from Zipline and Google-owned Wing that have already launched limited-area commercial services.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.
https://tech.slashdot.org/story/22/12/05/035253/amazon-builds-a-new-drone---but-is-it-falling-behind...
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