Amazon has announced that it will start delivering items through the mail via drone in California beginning later this year.
The company said Prime Air will start sending products via drone in the United States in Lockeford, California.
In an announcement, Amazon pointed to Lockeford’s history in aviation, as Weldon B. Cooke, who constructed and piloted early aircraft in the 1900s, used to live there. It pointed out that “[n]ow, over a century later, residents will get the opportunity to sign up for free drone delivery on thousands of everyday items.”
The residents of Lockeford will be able to share their experience about “drones delivering packages in their backyards,” which will in turn help the company to establish the new program.
“Lockeford residents will soon have access to one of the world’s leading delivery innovations,” California State Assemblyman Heath Flora said. “It’s exciting that Amazon will be listening to the feedback of the San Joaquin County community to inform the future development of this technology.” Lockeford is in Flora’s district.
Amazon also noted that it is working alongside the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and local authorities in the town in order to get authorization to carry out the drone deliveries, “and will continue with that collaboration into the future.”
Amazon described how the company is building a different type of drone system that will be able to steer clear of other aircraft, as well as people, pets, and objects. The “sense-and-avoid system” is created for two primary situations, including being safe while traveling to carry out a delivery, as well as maintaining safety when getting close to the ground. The company has made over 24 prototypes throughout the invention process since Prime Air was first conceived.
Prime Air has also earned an FAA air carrier certificate, making it one of three drone companies to do so.
Amazon also said that it will be “investing in the community” of Lockeford, making new jobs, and creating partnerships with local groups, while assisting in cutting down on carbon emissions.
The actual process will be much like consumers might expect. When Lockeford customers are brought onto the system, they will order an item from Amazon in a typical way and then be able to track it and see around the time when it should be delivered. Then, a drone will fly to the delivery spot, hover down to the customer’s backyard, and let go of the package before heading back up into the sky.
Amazon was given the go-ahead by the FAA to fly drones in 2020, and other companies, such as Alphabet and Walmart, have already begun to carry out similar delivers through the air.