On Sunday’s 60 Minutes (CBS), Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that the online retailer is working on developing drone technology to step up its delivery time – pushing Amazon ahead of the e-commerce race in which competitors like Ebay and so many others are struggling to get ahead.
Check out Amazon’s official video.
Given the heated national debate about drones and the threat they pose to privacy, it will be interesting to see how delivery drones will be received by the general public.
Furthermore, how does Amazon plan on securing these packages from being shot down by opportunists/thieves? Surely Bezos will have this all figured out by the time these things actually begin delivering goods from Amazon’s warehouses to customer doorsteps, but one can not help but imagine packages falling from the sky.
Since these drones won’t be hitting US airways for the next four or five years, I don’t think Amazon’s competitors need to lose any sleep over the announcement but it is a wake up call to catch up.
Known to many as a technology visionary, Bezos said that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) could deliver packages that weigh up to five pounds (2.3 kg). That represents roughly 86 percent of packages that Amazon delivers, he said.
Bezos continues to surprise the tech and business world. This past August he announced his acquisition of The Washington Post newspaper for $250m, which Bezos said he hopes to modernize.
Perhaps Bezos will use his Amazonian drones to deliver newspapers as well – if print survives that long.
On a separate note, it’s refreshing to see drones make headlines for their civilian uses. Thanks to America’s drone war in countries like Pakistan and Yemen, the non-lethal and peaceful uses for drones are often overlooked.