In it’s first ever drone delivery, e-commerce giant Amazon delivered a bag of popcorns and an Amazon Fire TV streaming device box to a farmhouse in England on December 7, 2016. The service is being called Amazon Prime Air.
The delivery to a customer near Cambridge was announced in a tweet by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.
“First-ever #AmazonPrimeAir customer delivery is in the books. 13 min – click to delivery,” he wrote of the December 7 order. “13 min – click to delivery.”
The custom-built quadcopter can be seen in a video floating over green farm fields before setting down onto the lawn of the farmhouse and dropping off the package.
Amazon, which has been testing drone deliveries in the US and elsewhere, has on several occasions complained that the regulatory environment in the United States for these automated deliveries is more cumbersome.
The company – which has started a private trial for two customers in the Cambridge area – hopes to raise this number to “dozens” soon.
Customers can choose from thousands of items in an Amazon Prime Air fulfillment centre. Moments after receiving the order, an electrically powered drone will make its way down an automated track, and then rises into the sky with the customer’s package on board.
These drones are autonomous. From take off, to landing and delivering and to return, they completely operate on their own. They are of course, guided by GPS. They can cruise at up to 400 ft and carry packages up to 5 lbs (2.26 kgs).