Amazon plans to begin flying some purchases to customers later this year, the e-commerce giant announced Monday, the launch of drone delivery in a California town.
Walmart already offers drone delivery and announced in May that it is significantly expanding the service, with the potential to drop off one million parcels per year in six states by the end of the year.
Amazon customers in Lockeford, California, would be able to register for free delivery by “Prime Air” drones, the corporation revealed in a blog post.
According to Amazon, “air-eligible” items ordered from the retailer’s website will be packed into drones that will fly to delivery addresses, deposit packages outside from safe heights, and then fly away.
According to an Amazon spokesperson, the drones can carry loads weighing up to five pounds (2.2 kgs) in packages the size of a large shoe box.
According to the spokesperson, items approved for drone delivery will include household goods, beauty products, office supplies, and technology.
According to Amazon, it has developed an advanced system that allows its drones to detect and avoid aircraft, people, pets, and other obstacles.
“We designed our sense-and-avoid system for two main scenarios: to be safe when in transit, and to be safe when approaching the ground, the firm stated “.
The feedback from the California operational processes will be used to increase the drone service.
Autonomous drone delivery is being worked on by a variety of companies, ranging from new startups to major tech firms such as Google parent Alphabet.
According to the company’s website, Alphabet’s project Wing completed its first real-world drone deliveries in rural Australia in 2014, successfully transporting first-aid supplies, candy bars, dog treats, and water to farmers.
Wing drones were used to deliver burritos to students at a Virginia university two years ago.
“The logistics industry is abuzz with all-things drones,” the Amazon firm said.