Jeff Bezos has been touting “drone delivery” as the future of logistics, especially in the e-commerce segment. He announced that Amazon would soon make drone deliveries possible. That was in 2013. Almost a decade later, the company is still figuring out ways to make it possible. But it has faced a long list of obstructions from regulators regarding its safety.
Amazon Drone Delivery program needs to complete 7000 test flights to move closer to launching the service. But the drones are failing mid-air and crashing to the ground, which is creating more problems for Amazon.
Amazon Drone Delivery Troubles
Amazon conducted more than 3000 flights, but none of them have been successful, as per FAA. The drones need to comply with safety norms and can only be launched as a service after they meet the criteria. Moreover, they shouldn’t in any way endanger the lives of citizens while flying in the air. But according to Insider, even after 3000 flights, there isn’t a single drone flight that appealed to the regulators.
One drone fell from 180 feet in a recent crash due to unknown circumstances. It was completely obliterated after coming in contact with the ground. Amazon’s dream of conducting 7000 flights by the end of this year seems like a distant one. Without federal permission to use drones for delivery, Prime Air is just a paper project.
Luckily, the test flight was conducted in a restricted area with no signs of citizens/houses. If it was a densely populated area, it could have caused a lot of damage. The FAA described it as a “hard landing” which is just sugarcoating the exact impacts of such a crash. Although these types of events are expected to occur when conducting test flights, the mere thought of having a 100-pound object losing control midair and falling on someone’s head is quite frightening.
For Amazon, the Drone Delivery program is an ambitious attempt. It is something that no other tech giant has ever attempted. If done right, it could solve a lot of delivery woes for lighter packages which often get stuck in transit. Drone Delivery can never replace manned deliveries but can take some load off the logistics department.