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Amazon Prime Air Private Trial Flying-HIGH RES.png
Amazon Prime Air Private Trial Flying-HIGH RES.png (Credit: Amazon)

Amazon has officially made its first ever drone delivery


Amazon has officially made its first ever drone delivery

WATCH  |  Amazon has become the first major company to make a customer drone delivery.

Click-to-drone delivery is here.

Amazon Prime Air delivered its very first customer package via drone last week, making it the first major retailer to make drone deliveries a reality.

"It looks like science fiction, but it's real. One day, seeing Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road," Amazon said.

What was in the parcel? A Fire TV and a bag of popcorn.

CEO Jeff Bezos revealed the news in a tweet, saying the first delivery was "in the books."

The delivery took place in the English countryside, where a Prime Air drone flew 13 minutes to deliver a 4.7-pound parcel. Amazon's goal for its drone program is to get packages to recipients in under 30 minutes.

Currently, the online retailer is conducting private deliveries with a small number of shoppers. But Amazon will offer Prime Air deliveries to customers who live within 5 miles of a small Cambridge fulfillment center in the coming months. 

For a package to qualify for drone delivery is it has to weigh 5 pounds or less.

Amazon Prime Air_Private Trial_Ground-HIGH RES.png
Amazon Prime Air_Private Trial_Ground-HIGH RES.png (Credit: Amazon)

Amazon says it launched Prime Air in the U.K. because it was easier to get regulatory approval there.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon has had to deal with hurdles in the U.S. that have prevented it from testing and expanding the program in America more quickly.

It has also had luck striking deals with British aviation authorities to gain certain exemptions that have let it get the program off the ground. 

prime-air_04.jpg (Credit: Amazon)

For example, the drones fly entirely autonomously, from warehouse to recipient and back. In the U.K., Amazon was able to get exempt from having to only fly within a drone operator's sight.

Other companies testing drones

Amazon isn't alone in the drone delivery space. Thanks to rising shipping costs and the demand for faster deliveries, companies are looking for alternatives.

Google, for example, was given the green light to deliver Chipotle burritos via drone to students at Virginia Tech. And UPS has teamed up with robot-maker CyPhy Works to test drones for commercial deliveries.

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