While there is constant controversy around online services such as Amazon being able to undercut brick-and-mortar stores, thereby contributing to the apparent death of the high street, Amazon has not become complacent in its position; instead, it continues to innovate.
Not content with offering deliveries by traditional means, and presumably in an effort to further reduce costs and make prices even more competitive, Amazon has begun to roll out drone deliveries in some areas, with the first UK delivery by drone completed in Cambridge in December 2016.
What makes Amazon’s drones appropriate for home deliveries, and what will be needed at the customer’s end to facilitate them?
The drones are tailored for home deliveries
For the drone deliveries to be viable, Amazon’s drones must be able to safely manoeuvre in an urban or suburban environment.
To cope with these challenges, Amazon’s drones can take off and land completely vertically and fly horizontally at altitudes of up to 100 meters, avoiding ground-based hazards.
Drones to handle different deliveries
With the variety of different deliveries Amazon’s drones will have to handle, they will need more than one design.
Based on factors such as the weight and size of the parcel, the range the drone will have to fly to make the delivery and the environment, different designs of drone may be deployed.
The initial drones have a fairly low weight limit of about two kilograms, limiting the scope of deliveries the current drones can handle.
The drones will land on a home ‘helipad’
The only thing potential drone delivery customers will need is an Amazon-produced landing pad spread out on a flat area with no overhead obstructions, such as trees or power lines.
The drones will ‘see’ the landing pad and be able to hone in on it, land, and release their payload.
Drone deliveries may not work for flats
Luckily for the man and van in Reading, deliveries to flats may not be possible because of the requirement of a space to land, at least initially. This is good news for courier businesses such as https://www.uk-tdl.com.
The drones will be able to avoid hazards
Amazon’s drones will fly high enough to avoid most hazards, such as trees and power lines, and will be clever enough to avoid flying hazards, such as birds and kites.