In late 2013, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos boldly proclaimed on the popular CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” that drones would be delivering orders for its customers within five years. But apparently, the future isn’t exactly now according to a report in the Seattle Times.
While drones have been tested for delivering medicine to remote areas and there have been some commercial programs in other countries, the reality isn’t near at hand in the U.S.
“I don’t think you will see delivery of burritos or diapers in the suburbs,” drone analyst Colin Snow told the newspaper.
“We are committed to making our goal of delivering packages by drones in 30 minutes or less a reality,” Amazon spokeswoman Kristen Kish said. The company has drone-development centers in the United States, Austria, France, Israel and the United Kingdom, she told the Times.
Back in May, the U.S. Department of Transportation approved 10 public-private drone projects, with Amazon conspicuous by its absence. President Trump’s dislike for Amazon and Bezos was cited by some as a possible contributing factor.
One of the approved companies, Israeli drone software provider Flytrex, is involved in a project in Holly Springs, NC. Flytrex was the first company to provide a commercial drone delivery service, flying in food and other goods for Icelandic ecommerce firm Aha to residents of Reykjavik beginning in August 2017. The drones themselves are built by Chinese firm DJI, one of the world’s major suppliers of the craft.
This past August, Flytrex expanded its Reykjavik program, with 13 drone routes covering half the city with deliveries from Aha, including for the first time in-air “wire drops” directly to shoppers’ homes.
You can read the rest of the Times account here.