Updated: Jun 26, 2018
There is a strong possibility for drone delivery as the future of transportation. Several companies attempting to utilize drones in this manner, but none have a likelier chance of doing so than Amazon.
Indeed, Amazon has patented (and made public) a rough plan for an entire system of drone-based transportation. Rest assured, it is truly incredible, even in raw form. Let's take a look.
Amazon's 'Prime Air' Transportation
In December 2013, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos first announced Amazon's "Prime Air" concept to Charlie Rose after a '60 Minutes' interview. The idea was revolutionary to say the least, even as it sat in its incipient stages. Quick, convenient shipping remains a staple of Amazon service. Doing so in the most efficient and cool manner possible could only enhance that.
Nearly four years later, Amazon has only expanded on that idea. The Amazon Prime Air dedicated page explains the concept of the drone transportation system, shows a few videos of test runs, and answers some basic FAQs about the project.
According to the project description:
We're excited about Prime Air — a delivery system from Amazon designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles, also called drones. Prime Air has great potential to enhance the services we already provide to millions of customers by providing rapid parcel delivery that will also increase the overall safety and efficiency of the transportation system.
Keep in mind that Prime Air is also currently being used as a cargo airline. Clearly though, Amazon is looking towards bigger and better things with it.
Amazon has filed a handful of patents associated with drone transportation. However, none is more interesting than this beehive-like drone fulfillment center:
Despite its sci-fi look, it seems like a very practical design. One could only imagine, however, just how big these "drone hives" would be.
Amazon, much like its competitors, still has several barriers to cross in order to make drone transportation a mainstream approach. But a company with resources and drive like Amazon certainly is in a great spot to get there soon.
In the meantime, enjoy this tweet from Bezos, detailing a successful Prime Air drone delivery:
Yeah, sooner looks WAY more promising than later.