It’s official: Amazon has been designated an “air carrier” by the Federal Aviation Administration, meaning their fleet of drones will soon be making deliveries.
The company first announced their intention to use drones for Amazon deliveries back in 2013, and while it’s taken longer than Jeff Bezos and Co. would’ve liked, we’ll finally start seeing this vision become reality in 2020.
Here’s what you need to know:
Amazon drone delivery trials will start before the end of 2020.
The FAA’s recent decision lets Amazon start testing autonomous drone deliveries. They haven’t announced where these trials will take place, but Amazon isn’t going to wait until 2021 to start testing in cooperation with the government.
Before Amazon can take drone delivery to prime time, they’ve gotta meet some technical and regulatory requirements. These tests will help iron out the wrinkles.
Don’t expect these drones to deliver anything heavier than 5 pounds.
That’s not a big deal, though, since most of Amazon’s deliveries already weigh less than 5 pounds.
Amazon’s latest drone models can fly up to 15 miles (7.5 miles each way) and carry those five-pounds-or-less packages.
This is all part of Amazon’s goal of making 30-minute deliveries.
Two-day delivery and same-day grocery pickup just isn’t enough.
Gotta keep pushing to fend off challengers like Walmart.
UPS and Google are testing drone delivery, too.
The FAA is working on some new regulations — including a possible new air-traffic control system for low-flying drones — to keep up with the innovation.