Amazon is building fully-electric drones that deliver packages under 5 pounds

Barcelona, August 16, 2022.- Supply Chain 247 magazine has published this information about Amazon’s electric drones. An innovation with these details:

Amazon drone delivery will enable even faster deliveries to customers, with the potential to increase overall safety and efficiency in the transportation network.

When they first started Amazon Prime Two-Day Delivery 17 years ago, it was considered revolutionary. Getting packages to people where they wanted them – in a matter of days – was exciting and new.

Since then, they’ve developed new technologies and made investments in their logistics network that have helped them get packages to customers in two days, one day, and even on the same day. Now, another revolution is in the works, with Prime Air drones about to deliver to Amazon customers in under an hour, in a safe and scalable way.

It sounds like science fiction, but it’s happening. Amazon is building fully electric drones that deliver packages under 5 pounds to customers in less than 60 minutes.

But they know their customers will only feel comfortable receiving drone deliveries if they know the system is safe and reliable. While it’s impossible to eliminate all risks from flying, they’re taking a proven aerospace approach to design safety into their system.

So how does Amazon do it? There are three components they focus on:

  1. The body: A robust drone developed using the same aerospace standards that design safety into their system, and are just as reliable as the ground transportation methods that serve their customers today.
  2. The brain: A sense-and-avoid system to ensure the aircraft is able to detect and stay away from obstacles in the air and on the ground, such as other aircraft and people and pets in backyards. With this system, their drone can encounter new, unexpected situations and still make safe decisions – autonomously and safely.
  3. The rules: Amazon is creating an automated drone-management system to plan their flight paths and ensure there are safe distances between their aircraft and other aircraft in the area, and that they are complying with all aviation regulations.

For almost a decade, they’ve been innovating in each of these three areas, with a team of safety, aerospace, science, robotics, software, hardware, testing, and manufacturing experts working to ensure their system meets the rigors required for an aerospace product.

State of Drone Delivery Today

The logistics industry is abuzz with all things drones. But not all drone systems are equal. Some feature remotely piloted drones. Other drones are autonomous but blind, relying on ground-based communications systems for situational awareness, and not able to react to the unexpected.

Then there are systems like Amazon’s, which uses a sophisticated, industry-leading sense-and-avoid system to help our drones operate safely and autonomously. If the environment changes and the drone‘s mission commands it to come into contact with an object that wasn’t there previously, it will refuse. Designing and building a system like this was not an easy task for Amazon. But from the start, the choice was clear. In order for this to make a difference at Amazon’s scale, a safe, truly autonomous drone was the only option.

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