Since the very first day it launched, Amazon has relied on commercial delivery companies like DHL, DPD, Hermes, Yodel and the Royal Mail to deliver its parcels. Now, that looks to be changing.
For the past couple of years, Amazon has been planning, prototyping and testing a new drone-based delivery system. The premise of Amazon’s new system is pretty simple. Instead of relying on large lorries, small packages will be delivered to customers’ homes in under 30 minutes or less using small unmanned aerial vehicles. Simple but certainly not easy.
With the technology behind drones racing forward, it’s historically been the legislation governing aviation holding back drone-based delivery. With the skies already packed with planes, most countries have been understandably unwilling to set untested drones loose.
Even though drones are small — Amazon estimates theirs will weigh less than 25kg — a rogue drone could still cause serious damage to a plane if it made contact with a prop or engine.
Amazon, however, envisage drones operating in specially segregated areas away from planes and other larger aircraft. In a press release issued earlier this week, Amazon has announced a new partnership with the UK Government and the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to explore ways to make drone delivery a safe reality.
Amazon’s Vice President of Global Innovation Policy and Communications, Paul Misener, praised the approach of the UK, saying:
The UK is a leader in enabling drone innovation – we’ve been investing in Prime Air research and development here for quite some time. This announcement strengthens our partnership with the UK and brings Amazon closer to our goal of using drones to safely deliver parcels in 30 minutes to customers in the UK and elsewhere around the world.
The partnership should eventually provide Amazon with a real-world testing environment for its range of custom-built drones and hopefully brings a real, commercially viable drone delivery program a little closer to fruition.
A Hotbed for Drones
Not all countries have taken to drones as enthusiastically as the United Kingdom. Across the Atlantic, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the governing body for aviation in the US, has laid down some pretty restrictive legislation.
Drones — or specifically small, unmanned aircrafts — are limited to use only within the line of sight of the operator and are prohibited from flying over people who are not involved in the drone operation.
Considering Amazon’s vision of fleets of drones autonomously buzzing across the landscape, delivering small packages to homes and businesses across the country, it’s clear that there is a lot of negotiations to be had in other countries.
While we’re not much use with drones, when it comes to road-based deliveries in Scotland, we’re pretty handy. Whether you need a package whisked to Paris or a delivery hurried to Dundee, there’s no one better than Caledonian Couriers. Get in touch with our team today to see how we can help.
Please do not hesitate to contact us on +44 (0)141 959 4444 about any of your courier, delivery or logistics requirements – you can depend on us to deliver.