Amazon Drone Delivery In Development
Doorstep delivery via drone for Amazon customers is just two to five years away, CEO Jeff Bezos told 60 Minutes correspondent Charlie Rose on Sunday. Bezos showed Rose two experimental octocopters, autonomous drones that will be able to carry up to five pounds and deliver goods from fulfillment centers to buyers up to 10 miles away within 30 minutes. About 86 percent of items purchased from Amazon weigh less than five pounds, Bezos said. The CBS video shows the drone automatically picking up a delivery box from a conveyor belt and flying to a doorstep, where it lands, releases the package, and flies away. "I know this looks like science fiction," Bezos said. "It's not."
Bezos said the drones can't launch before 2015, "because thatís the earliest we could get the rules from the FAA." At most, he said, the system should be up and running within four to five years. It won't be easy, he said, because the system must be reliable, redundant, and safe. "This thing can't land on somebody's head while they're walking around their neighborhood," he said. But he concluded: "It will work, and it will happen, and itís gonna be a lot of fun."†