Amazon’s drone delivery program is more than simply at the development stage, but the company still has to overcome serious challenges to make the technology available to customers. One of these is getting drones near enough to large populations so they’re more efficient than regular road delivery. Amazon is looking into building massive “Beehive” structures for their drones.
With online shopping delivery becoming more and more popular Amazon are not alone in considering drone as mode of transport.
Retail giants Wal-Mart and JD.com (China) are also making strides into drone delivery development. With no official dates for role out of the systems all are keen to become front runners.
In a patent published on the 22nd of June, Amazon described how “multi-level fulfilment centres for unmanned aerial vehicles” could help put drones where they’re needed. The application notes that due to “their large footprint,” current warehouses are located “on the outskirts of cities where space is available.” But multi-story drone hives would be built vertically, rather than horizontally, allowing them to be placed within “downtown districts and/or other densely populated urban areas.” And, of course, making them high-rises would let the drones fly in and out without getting dangerously close to pedestrians at street level.
Amazon’s application includes sketches of a number of differently shaped buildings and interior views, showing how human employees would load-up the drones with packages at least initially.
Concerns however have been raised around privacy and security. This could potentially slow the rate of drone deliveries becoming common place.
In addition replacing trucks and vans (and drivers) with drones could mean loss of employment and business to haulage firms worldwide with massive knock on implications. Regardless of this UPS the world’s largest package delivery company and one of the leading global providers of specialized transportation and logistics services is also making strides into drone deliveries.
The drones are coming!! But are we ready?