The world of commerce will soon experience a small revolution in California. Amazon plans to launch its drone delivery service in this American state this year, called Prime Air, a mode of transporting goods on which start-ups and large groups, such as Walmart, have been working for years. The e-commerce giant plans to take practice tests in Lockerford, a Californian city, the group announced on Monday.
“Later this year (…) residents will be able to register to be delivered by drone for free,” said Amazon, without further details on the date. The company is still awaiting the green light from the authorities. Consumers will be able to choose “between thousands of everyday products” that will be dropped by the drone in their garden.
A package the size of a “big shoebox”
Their feedback should be used to improve the service, which Amazon hopes to scale up to “meet the needs of customers everywhere”. The group further explained that they created a dozen prototypes before arriving at a model that can identify and avoid obstacles, both static and moving, from chimneys to other aerial devices and pets.
“Most drones do not have this capability (…) and require spotters to help them avoid risks. They can be deployed fairly quickly, but are still limited to a small radius of operation,” according to Amazon. Prime Air’s drones will be able to carry up to 5 pounds (2.26 kg) of product in a package the size of a “big shoebox”, and travel up to 24 km.
At the end of May, the American retail giant Walmart announced the expansion of its drone delivery service, planning to make it available in 34 locations in the United States by the end of the year. The drones will be operational in six American states (Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Utah and Virginia) with the possibility of reaching up to 4 million homes and ensuring more than 1 million deliveries per year, had specified the company.
Walmart customers will be able to order their goods between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. and, for a delivery charge of $3.99 (3.83 euros) per order, will have them delivered by airmail within half a day. -hour. Each delivery from Walmart may weigh up to 4.5 kg. Walmart, which is seeking to position itself as the leader in this service, will use devices and technology from start-up DroneUp.