We’re on the precipice of a new age where many deliveries will fall from the sky rather than being driven to our door. Amazon has a long way to get us there, though.
As reported by CNBC, the company has only made around 100 drone deliveries as part of Amazon Prime Air, the company’s experimental delivery service that delivers packages up to five pounds to your doorstep by air rather than ground. According to internal reports, Amazon hopes to make 10,000 drone deliveries by the end of the year, so they have a way to go here.
The lack of growth in deliveries can be attributed to two things. First, a large number of Prime Air employees were let go when Amazon went through its latest round of layoffs earlier this year. In addition, the company is running into a lot of regulatory hurdles to get its drones operational. Amazon spokesperson Av Zammit said the FFA has yet to allow the company to expand its delivery services more broadly.
“While the FAA broadened Prime Air’s authority to conduct drone deliveries to include sites in California and Texas, the phased process for expanding our service areas is taking longer than we anticipated.”
As Amazon plays catchup, there are a few other drone delivery companies that have already made tens of thousands of deliveries. Both Alphabet’s Wing and Zipline are far ahead of Amazon right now.
I watched Mark Rober’s video on Zipline and it’s a really amazing concept, not only for deliveries to hard-to-reach places for emergency situations but for deliveries in general. The company wants to use its new droid to make all sorts of deliveries like food, prescriptions, etc. The applications are pretty widespread.
I’m personally excited about this future. It’s more sustainable, faster, and more private. Granted, it could also upend an entire freelance industry of drivers, but that’s a future we’re all going to have to prepare for.
Amazon might have only made 100 deliveries now, but it’s Amazon. Once it gets going, it’s not hard to think that number is going to explode, and quickly.