Amazon’s redesigned Prime Air delivery drone is a plane-helicopter hybrid

Jeannie Matthews
June 7, 2019

Amazon has a new version of its Prime Air delivery drone, and it just unveiled it at the company's re:MARS 2019 conference.

After launching Amazon Prime's one day delivery, the ecommerce major is now eyeing a delivery time of under 30 minutes with its latest Prime Air drone design. Also, watch interviews of top CEOs.

Still, Amazon is known for its drive to mechanize as many parts of its business as possible, whether pricing goods or transporting items in its warehouses. At the conference, Amazon also formally introduced "StyleSnap", a feature on its smartphone app that lets shoppers upload a picture of an outfit they like and get recommendations for similar items to buy. The program promises to be able to deliver packages under five pounds and within 15 miles of a fulfillment center in under 30 minutes. Wilke, Amazon's worldwide consumer CEO, said he expects the Amazon Prime Air delivery service to grow quickly thanks to Amazon's existing delivery infrastructure. The increasing expectations from the customers have led Amazon to look for some alternatives to deliver the packages more conveniently and in a faster way.

The company conducted its first test of drone deliveries in 2016 in Britain.

But when the drone comes into land at a customer's address, it will use computer vision techniques Amazon claimed to have invented, to avoid things like clotheslines and telephone wires.

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"Today, the FAA issued a Special Airworthiness Certificate to Amazon Prime Air allowing the company to operate its MK27 unmanned aircraft for research and development and crew training in authorized flight areas", the FAA said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation. "This certificate is valid for one year and is eligible for renewal", the FAA added.

Several other companies are also testing delivery drones, including UPS and Alphabet's Wing.

Amazon said Wednesday that it plans to use self-piloted drones to deliver packages to shoppers' home in the coming months.

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