At first glance, it sounds impossible. Delivery in half-an-hour? What is this, take-out? Well, according to Amazon.com’s billionaire founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, this delivery time for products ordered on the world’s largest eCommerce website is much closer to being a reality than a dream.
Officially called the Amazon Octocopter Drone, the eight-bladed package delivery system is an unmanned, remotely-controlled aircraft that will deliver Amazon.com merchandise to you in just about 30 minutes. News of it debuted on Cyber Monday, and it threatens to revolutionize same-day delivery under Amazon’s Prime Air service.
Right away, it’s easy to see that the Amazon drone won’t be able to deliver quite a few items, given obvious weight restrictions. You’ll just have to wait a few days for those kettlebells, that microwave and the full boxed set of Tchaikovsky recordings.
Of course, it’s always possible that Amazon Prime Air is just a clever play for publicity by the markedly savvy Bezos (whom Harvard Business rated as the 2nd best CEO a few years ago).
After all, the interview by 60 Minutes further raised the profile of the eCommerce giant with news of exciting new technology that may never get approved by government officials. In the end, it would amount to a huge amount of advertising commanded by the loyal 60 Minutes crowd, catapulting Amazon to the forefront of the (buying) public consciousness.
Don’t expect the Amazon Octocopter Drone to be available any time soon. Although CEO Bezos anticipates the first consumer launch to be within the decade, there are still a few hurdles to pass with the Federal Aviation Administration. As you can imagine, there all types of concerns involved with a device that has historically been used to permanently relieve high-level insurgents of duty in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The FAA’s duty is to regulate the aerial space and keep the friendly skies friendly; this includes ascertaining the threat from falling drones and Harry Potter books. It is easy to envision many more retailers following suit if Amazon’s effort with the Octocopter pans out and becomes lucrative, which means many more drones taking to the skies.