AfterDawn: Tech news

Amazon says drone deliveries a possibility once FAA approval is secured

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 02 Dec 2013 21:28 User comments (39)

Amazon says drone deliveries a possibility once FAA approval is secured During a '60 Minutes' airing last night on CBS, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled his plans for the future of delivery: Amazon Prime Air.
The service will use 8-propeller drones to transport items from Amazon fulfillment centers directly to customer's homes, all in 30 minutes or less.

Bezos did note that the service will require clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and that the group isn't expected to make any drastic decisions until 2015. Bezos did say he expects Prime Air to go live in "four to five years" but the Amazon site itself says the deliveries could go live as soon as the FAA gives clearance.

The "octocopters" are completely unmanned and use internal GPS to deliver the items, all of which must be 5 pounds or lighter and smaller than certain undisclosed dimensions.

Of course, there are many issues to deal with before launch, not least of which is safety for pedestrians in the vicinity of a delivery.

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39 user comments

12.12.2013 22:00

With all the blades on that thing, it looks like a weapon for Jason or Freddy....But Amazon is serious about this thing. (I work there) 5 years isn't gonna happen, though. (Battery limitations, but it's coming)

22.12.2013 22:27

I doubt it. One kid with a pellet rifle could get quite a bit of swag from these targe-... I mean, drones.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 03 Dec 2013 @ 7:18

33.12.2013 5:56

I seen videos of it in action, and it's as foreseeable as it looks cool. Privacy groups are going all up in arms over it, but honestly I can't see Amazon doing anything worst with these units than the NSA has already done.

Outside FAA approval: the biggest factor would be third party tampering. Can these devices be hacked, if so to do what? Obviously some computer algorithms have to be implemented in order to tell it where to go, as I can't see Amazon hiring man power to fly these things. Even if they did, from there it's like others have said: how do you combat issues like being fired upon, birds, weather, etc... Then from there it's weight limit and size of packaging?

I for one wouldn't mind seeing this take off from the ground; it would be interesting to order in games for the family or essentials to get it same day in a much faster delivery method than trucks. But I also hope they implement some sort of insurance policy in place so that if the drone accidentally crashes, we get guarantees of product replacement.

Quote:
I doubt it. One kid with a pellet rifle could get quite a bit of swag from these targe-... I mean, [i]drones[/].
Then you say to said kid, "Sorry bud but that package was for you: now you don't know if it was games, toys or ammunition inside cause you destroyed it you punk little ...."
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 03 Dec 2013 @ 6:02

43.12.2013 7:19

Originally posted by Mysttic:
...Then you say to said kid, "Sorry bud but that package was for you: now you don't know if it was games, toys or ammunition inside cause you destroyed it you punk little ...."
Doesn't work so hot, when it's NOT the intended recipient who brings down the drone, now does it? lol

53.12.2013 7:30

This won't work because of kids with pellet guns, serious?  Sounds like you're a hater.  Pellets only shoot a hundred feet up, while the drones fly at 1,000 feet.  And for all those that want a stolen drone, there will be cameras and GPS all over it, so the local popo will be called when some ass runs at it with a bat.

63.12.2013 8:35

Quote:
And for all those that want a stolen drone, there will be cameras and GPS all over it, so the local popo will be called when some ass runs at it with a bat.
Although true, there are stealth methods you can use to take down a drown, disable the GPS and retrieve it safely to keep without being tracked by your persons. Amazon won't likely have their own police on standby to retrieve a fallen unit, there would be plenty of time to take off with the drone in the event someone takes the time and care to do so.

73.12.2013 9:06

Sure they could be stolen...but so could the delivery truck.

This could save the military a lot of money; just order a bomb delivered to the terrorist in festive wrapping...no need to send a $100k missile into a coffee shop, killing 20 other people.



83.12.2013 9:41

Originally posted by yeller:
This won't work because of kids with pellet guns, serious?  Sounds like you're a hater.  Pellets only shoot a hundred feet up, while the drones fly at 1,000 feet.  And for all those that want a stolen drone, there will be cameras and GPS all over it, so the local popo will be called when some ass runs at it with a bat.

There are several problems with your assertions:
- A good CO2-powered pellet rifle will shoot far more than 100 feet straight up.
- Civilian drones currently cannot legally fly at 1000 feet in most airspace.
- They have to LAND.
- Maybe not a pellet rifle, but a .22 or .223 (AR-15 clone) with a scope can easily nail targets at 400+ meters (over 1200 feet).
- You leave the drone and take the payload, silly.

I'm not hating on the idea or Amazon. I just don't think it's particularly practical, and it's impossible until the FAA relaxes drone regulations.

93.12.2013 12:54

Wow yeah I just don't see it happening. One big issue is range. Will Amazon be putting up distro centers/drone airports all over the place? How far is a 30 min drone flight? This sounds like a gimmick at best. BUT it got us all talking about Amazon didn't it? LOL


Just my $0.02,

dEwMe

103.12.2013 13:46

Well, after reading this, I'd like one of those drones to deliver whatever Amazon people must have been smoking to me. The sooner the better, folks. Then, I'll be able to get as high as 1000 feet, too. For sure! ;)

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 04 Dec 2013 @ 2:41

"You know, it seems that quotes on the internet are becoming less and less reliable." -Abraham Lincoln.

113.12.2013 13:58

GPS doesnt actually stop theives, at most it will give away its locations after the contents have been stolen.providing it doesnt get smashed.

they would be taken down midflight, bb guns,modified laser pointers, how high can someone throw a brick these days.guns are easy to access for americans.

people will try to hack them and camera fitted could be used to spy on people.

lots of things coulkd go wrong lets wait and see what happens.


custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

123.12.2013 14:32

Originally posted by Bozobub:
Originally posted by yeller:
This won't work because of kids with pellet guns, serious?  Sounds like you're a hater.  Pellets only shoot a hundred feet up, while the drones fly at 1,000 feet.  And for all those that want a stolen drone, there will be cameras and GPS all over it, so the local popo will be called when some ass runs at it with a bat.

There are several problems with your assertions:
- A good CO2-powered pellet rifle will shoot far more than 100 feet straight up.
- Civilian drones currently cannot legally fly at 1000 feet in most airspace.
- They have to LAND.
- Maybe not a pellet rifle, but a .22 or .223 (AR-15 clone) with a scope can easily nail targets at 400+ meters (over 1200 feet).
- You leave the drone and take the payload, silly.

I'm not hating on the idea or Amazon. I just don't think it's particularly practical, and it's impossible until the FAA relaxes drone regulations.
Yes...AR15s can hit targets at 400 meters assuming they are top quality, dialed in, have good quality ammunition, and (especially for a moving target at a different elevation) have a highly skilled operator...but a $200 9mm pistol with surplus bullets and someone who has ever been to the range doing the shooting can hit the driver of a van while he is driving by. No one starts freaking out about people shooting at aircraft as they land (usually well below 400 meters while over public spaces/roads)...why is it immediately assumed that people are going to start shooting down delivery drones??? What good is a drone that is first shot with a 5.56, and then allowed to fall 1000 feet? What good are the contents of the package? As for people stealing the packages...well, amazon just leaves them at the door now, so that isn't a new issue. People stealing the drones as they deliver? Yes, that might happen if someone knew one was coming and was ready with a net or something...but really...they would make more money with less work just by going around and stealing mail boxes for scrap metal.


133.12.2013 14:51

Packages get lost and damaged during delivery all the time. Drones won't eliminate that, but I don't think they'll make it any worse either.

People will pay a premium to get their packages in 30 minutes. And Amazon won't have to pay UPS/USPS/FedEx to deliver them either. And once Amazon starts mass producing drones, they won't cost a fortune. I don't think we'll see thousands of kids spending their afternoons shooting down drones. But if a few drones get destroyed or lost here or there, it's a drop in the bucket compared to what Amazon stands to gain.

143.12.2013 17:10

Originally posted by KillerBug:
Yes...AR15s can hit targets at 400 meters assuming they are top quality, dialed in, have good quality ammunition, and (especially for a moving target at a different elevation) have a highly skilled operator...but a $200 9mm pistol with surplus bullets and someone who has ever been to the range doing the shooting can hit the driver of a van while he is driving by. No one starts freaking out about people shooting at aircraft as they land (usually well below 400 meters while over public spaces/roads)...why is it immediately assumed that people are going to start shooting down delivery drones??? What good is a drone that is first shot with a 5.56, and then allowed to fall 1000 feet? What good are the contents of the package? As for people stealing the packages...well, amazon just leaves them at the door now, so that isn't a new issue. People stealing the drones as they deliver? Yes, that might happen if someone knew one was coming and was ready with a net or something...but really...they would make more money with less work just by going around and stealing mail boxes for scrap metal.

First, I was able to hit targets quite reliably at 400m in Basic Training, using Vietnam-era, VERY well-used M16s with only iron sights. In fact, a properly zeroed, nearly new civilian AR-15 with a nice, heavy barrel and a decent sight, has much better range, assuming you load rounds with a comparable amount of propellant to standard M16 rounds (specifically NOT as much as M16A1 or SAW rounds, which have significantly more propellant).

Second, most packages will hit terminal velocity long before they hit the ground, and many would do just fine, if packaged properly (and they are). Your average smartphone, for example, can take the g-shock handily, when ensconced in a nice styro-package (as they are when shipped). I never implied, by the way, that taking the drone was worthwhile.

I'm not assuming people will start "freaking out" when they see drones. But humans are fantastically good at being, well, criminal, and furthermore, there will always be that percentage that simply enjoys shooting at a difficult target. It WILL happen, mark my words.

153.12.2013 19:23

I think it's a good idea in theory and delivery on this timescale will probably be commonplace in the not-too-distant future for those that are willing to pay (initially). I'm the first to moan when I'm browsing online and wanted something 15 minutes ago, let alone the next day.

I also think the ideas of people remotely hijacking/shooting down/getting scared shitless by the drones are all fantastic and more reason why this should go ahead!




163.12.2013 19:23




https://twitter.com/QuantumPirate/statu...9640192/photo/1

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 03 Dec 2013 @ 19:24


173.12.2013 21:53

Jeezzz...you guys make it sound like we live in a 3rd world country where everyone has A-K's and can't wait to unleash them on the first airborne target they see. These things are going to be delivering to suburban areas, not Iraq. Sure, there will be some idiot redneck that tries to shoot one down, but I think you're imagining worst case scenarios here. Not everyone is a criminal, and those that are probably have better things to do than steal a 5-lb. package of Depends. <-a hot seller, no joke. As I stated previously, I work there.

183.12.2013 23:35

This would probably be a service you'd have to buy into and afterwards they'll send you a landing pad or something detectable for your driveway or lawn where the drone will vertically land on it. Makes sense to me at least.


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194.12.2013 8:11

Originally posted by DarthMopar:
Jeezzz...you guys make it sound like we live in a 3rd world country where everyone has A-K's and can't wait to unleash them on the first airborne target they see. These things are going to be delivering to suburban areas, not Iraq. Sure, there will be some idiot redneck that tries to shoot one down, but I think you're imagining worst case scenarios here. Not everyone is a criminal, and those that are probably have better things to do than steal a 5-lb. package of Depends. <-a hot seller, no joke. As I stated previously, I work there.
pretty sure the % of americans that own guns is very high.pretty sure america has a high crime rate in parts.
no one said america is a third world country but its very populated and most citizens do have access to gun.

custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

204.12.2013 10:08

Originally posted by xboxdvl2:
Originally posted by DarthMopar:
Jeezzz...you guys make it sound like we live in a 3rd world country where everyone has A-K's and can't wait to unleash them on the first airborne target they see. These things are going to be delivering to suburban areas, not Iraq. Sure, there will be some idiot redneck that tries to shoot one down, but I think you're imagining worst case scenarios here. Not everyone is a criminal, and those that are probably have better things to do than steal a 5-lb. package of Depends. <-a hot seller, no joke. As I stated previously, I work there.
pretty sure the % of americans that own guns is very high.pretty sure america has a high crime rate in parts.
no one said america is a third world country but its very populated and most citizens do have access to gun.
Come on...I have two guns at my disposal and have never gone out and started randomly shooting things. Many of the people I know are gun owners as well. Guess what...They don't randomly go out shooting stuff either. Discharging a firearm in most towns is a crime in itself. We shoot targets for practice (at established ranges or out in the country), animals for sport and meat and if it comes to it each other. I just don't see people going out and shooting these things...lol You guys have crazy ideas about gun owners.


Just my $0.02,

dEwMe

214.12.2013 13:24

Maybe so, DewMe, but in Tacoma, WA (just as an example), idiots regularly shot out the ceramic insulators for the high-voltage lines going over the Puget Sound to the Key Peninsula, simply for kicks.l And Tacoma is a reasonably large, urban area. It DOES happen. Furthermore, have you never seen bullet-hole-riddled stop signs? I have, both in rural and urban areas.

224.12.2013 19:47

The 30 mins. delivery is just a pure & simple dream.
How about in California or Texas where there is non Amazon whorehouses 'cos high taxes or Nevada only 2 whorehouses in the middle of "just" desert.

Amazon is becoming another Walmart where they cut corners on salaries for their employees, no want to pay taxes, etc.

Just saying.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 04 Dec 2013 @ 19:52

Live Free or Die.
The rule above all the rules is: Survive !
Capitalism: Funnel most of the $$$ to the already rich.

234.12.2013 20:47

Originally posted by dEwMe:
Originally posted by xboxdvl2:
Originally posted by DarthMopar:
Jeezzz...you guys make it sound like we live in a 3rd world country where everyone has A-K's and can't wait to unleash them on the first airborne target they see. These things are going to be delivering to suburban areas, not Iraq. Sure, there will be some idiot redneck that tries to shoot one down, but I think you're imagining worst case scenarios here. Not everyone is a criminal, and those that are probably have better things to do than steal a 5-lb. package of Depends. <-a hot seller, no joke. As I stated previously, I work there.
pretty sure the % of americans that own guns is very high.pretty sure america has a high crime rate in parts.
no one said america is a third world country but its very populated and most citizens do have access to gun.
Come on...I have two guns at my disposal and have never gone out and started randomly shooting things. Many of the people I know are gun owners as well. Guess what...They don't randomly go out shooting stuff either. Discharging a firearm in most towns is a crime in itself. We shoot targets for practice (at established ranges or out in the country), animals for sport and meat and if it comes to it each other. I just don't see people going out and shooting these things...lol You guys have crazy ideas about gun owners.

Same; I own an assault rifle (useless for hitting airborne targets, BTW), and a two shotguns...never had the urge to shoot at anything in the air unless it was a clay pigeon or fowl.

245.12.2013 10:51

So, THIS is what Monopolizing companies due with all their money?? Has to be the most ridiculous idea EVER! It'll never fly.... (Pun intended...)


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255.12.2013 10:55

lmao way too funny...i can see it already, amazon calling the cop shit all like 'bitches be jacking my drone, yo!'


I don't Usenet, it uses me.

265.12.2013 12:05

Dumbest idea of the century!

275.12.2013 12:51

Originally posted by DarthMopar:
With all the blades on that thing, it looks like a weapon for Jason or Freddy....But Amazon is serious about this thing. (I work there) 5 years isn't gonna happen, though. (Battery limitations, but it's coming)
If you work there then pass this one on to management. Law suits for injuries caused by these flying menaces!! What the hell are they thinking?
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Dec 2013 @ 12:51

285.12.2013 15:42

Originally posted by Morreale:
This would probably be a service you'd have to buy into and afterwards they'll send you a landing pad or something detectable for your driveway or lawn where the drone will vertically land on it. Makes sense to me at least.
Hmmmmm. So you're saying I order something I need in 30 minutes or less, and pay extra for shipping. I then wait 2 days for UPS to deliver a 'landing pad', so the drone can find me? Maybe it will work differently.

295.12.2013 16:21

Originally posted by BigDDub:
Originally posted by Morreale:
This would probably be a service you'd have to buy into and afterwards they'll send you a landing pad or something detectable for your driveway or lawn where the drone will vertically land on it. Makes sense to me at least.
Hmmmmm. So you're saying I order something I need in 30 minutes or less, and pay extra for shipping. I then wait 2 days for UPS to deliver a 'landing pad', so the drone can find me? Maybe it will work differently.
That's obviously not what he meant. Amazon Prime is a yearly opt-in, subscription service (at least in the UK), so you would have your "landing pad" delivered at the beginning f your subscription and collected at the end. You would put it out whenever you were expecting an order. Not really a hard concept (if that is to be the case and I have NFI).


305.12.2013 19:52

The problem isn't with shooting them down and crazy people going after them. The problem they have to hurdle is one of infrastructure and government bureaucracies.

The airways are restricted and have to be controlled. There are ceiling limits in congested areas and around housing. There are government restricted ares too, more then you might think. So there is a real issue with injury when you congest a neighborhood with flying aircraft. Unless there is heavy lobbying, a lot of cash in some politicians pocket and or the FAA's, I don't see this happening very fast at all. It take the FAA decades do make decisions on this magnitude, look how long it took a similar government organization to OK DTV formats and that didn't have the same consequences. And look at how long it took them to OK having computer devices running on airplanes let alone cell phones which they still haven't approved.

You guys are not arguing about the right subjects!

315.12.2013 21:06

Originally posted by Mr-Movies:
The problem isn't with shooting them down and crazy people going after them. The problem they have to hurdle is one of infrastructure and government bureaucracies.

The airways are restricted and have to be controlled. There are ceiling limits in congested areas and around housing. There are government restricted ares too, more then you might think. So there is a real issue with injury when you congest a neighborhood with flying aircraft. Unless there is heavy lobbying, a lot of cash in some politicians pocket and or the FAA's, I don't see this happening very fast at all. It take the FAA decades do make decisions on this magnitude, look how long it took a similar government organization to OK DTV formats and that didn't have the same consequences. And look at how long it took them to OK having computer devices running on airplanes let alone cell phones which they still haven't approved.

You guys are not arguing about the right subjects!
All of that has already been brought up in this thread, yo.

325.12.2013 23:02

Originally posted by Bozobub:
Originally posted by Mr-Movies:
The problem isn't with shooting them down and crazy people going after them. The problem they have to hurdle is one of infrastructure and government bureaucracies.

The airways are restricted and have to be controlled. There are ceiling limits in congested areas and around housing. There are government restricted ares too, more then you might think. So there is a real issue with injury when you congest a neighborhood with flying aircraft. Unless there is heavy lobbying, a lot of cash in some politicians pocket and or the FAA's, I don't see this happening very fast at all. It take the FAA decades do make decisions on this magnitude, look how long it took a similar government organization to OK DTV formats and that didn't have the same consequences. And look at how long it took them to OK having computer devices running on airplanes let alone cell phones which they still haven't approved.

You guys are not arguing about the right subjects!
All of that has already been brought up in this thread, yo.
I don't think so but I guess it is the Bozo factor apparently.

335.12.2013 23:26

Read the entire thread. Yes, all of your points have been brought up, in one form or another. Your thoughts to the contrary are immaterial.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Dec 2013 @ 23:26

346.12.2013 6:34

No they were not I did read through it, if there was any references they were very obscure at best. But once again the mainstay of the thread has been nonsense of some crazy shooters and definitely not the biggest obstacles at that. I will not address you again on this, waste of time ya know.

356.12.2013 9:25

So when are you two going to set a date?



366.12.2013 12:33

Originally posted by Bozobub:
There are several problems with your assertions:
- A good CO2-powered pellet rifle will shoot far more than 100 feet straight up.
- Civilian drones currently cannot legally fly at 1000 feet in most airspace.
- They have to LAND.
- Maybe not a pellet rifle, but a .22 or .223 (AR-15 clone) with a scope can easily nail targets at 400+ meters (over 1200 feet).
- You leave the drone and take the payload, silly.

I'm not hating on the idea or Amazon. I just don't think it's particularly practical, and it's impossible until the FAA relaxes drone regulations.
Originally posted by mumra1st:
Originally posted by DarthMopar:
With all the blades on that thing, it looks like a weapon for Jason or Freddy....But Amazon is serious about this thing. (I work there) 5 years isn't gonna happen, though. (Battery limitations, but it's coming)
If you work there then pass this one on to management. Law suits for injuries caused by these flying menaces!! What the hell are they thinking?
Read more carefully. Snark fail.

376.12.2013 17:13

ANyone who thinks this is a good plan for Amazon, ought to read this...
And this tech is already out there, while Amazon's service has no real-world application yet.

387.12.2013 19:33

The whole article is just a Sci-Fi Publicity-Stunt.
I vote to end this threat!
LoL!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Dec 2013 @ 19:36

Live Free or Die.
The rule above all the rules is: Survive !
Capitalism: Funnel most of the $$$ to the already rich.

398.12.2013 0:09

Yup...

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