Amazon Mulls Drone-Home Delivery

Online retailer's announcement draws buzz from Internet users, investors on Wall Street.
3:00 | 12/02/13

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Transcript for Amazon Mulls Drone-Home Delivery
This is a special group. I'm -- -- where New York where this ABC news digital special report delivery. By drone. -- that is what Amazon wants to do it released this ad showing the possible future. Others quick delivery service the ad showing Amazon prime air which purports to deliver a product in thirty minutes or less. Is it science fiction or are just a taste of what's to come. I want to bring in ABC's tech energy minister to shed some light on this Joanna this looks very cool way to this idea even come from. I am so excited for this idea I just want a drone right now to deliver me some coffee and I will be set for the day. Where this idea come from -- the idea of drones has been around for awhile I think there's this misconception lately though we hear about it a lot in terms of military use we hear about in terms of warfare. But there's a lot of -- uses for drones the idea that you can have a vehicle that's sort of autonomous and itself and it knows where -- is because of GPS -- it either someone. No working behind the scenes -- -- a remote controlled again at some place so lots of interesting uses obviously Amazon here thinks there's a big opportunity for using drones for delivery. So will Amazon be delivering your underwear be a -- sometime soon. Well not immediately soon it says that there they're basically saying that not tell our round two at 2015. So wait we're not getting our -- be a dry anytime soon but it might -- coming. Tidy white he's in the sky. Exactly Amazon saying that they basically have the technology ready mean I'm sure there's a lot of tweaks they've got to do in terms of the -- the GPS situation figuring out. How they deploy these using -- and their supply chain how they -- how that fits in with the factory lines. But bad for all intents and purposes the idea that these things can fly through -- -- and can use GPS to get to the coordinates to get to delivery address they seem pretty confident and that in and Jeff -- an interview with sixty minutes last night. With saying that the biggest obstacle here is the FAA is getting around this and the restrictions right now. Are these aerial vehicles. I want to -- -- of the interview that you had with -- -- -- -- short time ago let's listen. The most important things are not the kind of big transitions the most important things -- the big pieces of stability. The rocks in the future that you can count on you know they'll be there. So for example in -- three -- business. I know that people want low prices ten years from now I know they'll want fast delivery and no -- one big -- said. So the question is then I mean obviously he's got a pretty optimistic and a very. Long term thinking goal ahead of them but I mean thirty minute delivery. I mean it sounds really ambitious and I think that's the thing about this guy he is super ambitious and -- If you follow the story of how he created Amazon it's a really impact story that the book out about it now. But I think you know when he's looking ahead to the future what I think is really interesting here is he says there at -- -- things that people are gonna want right the idea that people are gonna want. To buying things is probably going away right on -- our society completely changes. And we're no longer using money to buy things and we don't need goods but he sees this huge opportunity in just. Figuring out how to innovate in these core features and I think you know nobody expected this -- thing to be announced last night anniversary of these -- -- I'm not gonna announce some thing you know maybe -- that may be some sort Kendall deal may be some. Sort of interesting way -- they're gonna do shipping this -- but I don't think anyone thought drones and then when you start thinking about like. This is really futuristic this looks like something out of the -- but. It does seem doable I mean in this -- -- why aren't there things like. -- the company has taken on brick and mortar stores cloud computing book publishers. But what concerns about being pushed back I think the Postal Service UPS FedEx now having its busiest day of the year. Yeah I mean we're we're we're definitely looking at the idea that our robots -- -- replace humans right that definitely brings -- some of that and some of these issues here. I -- any time series and I think Amazon is definitely shown that they have. A huge workforce this holiday season obviously some debate there about how the working conditions are there's been tons of sort of headlines about -- over the last couple weeks. But I -- in these companies are working overtime this holiday season we're not looking at this -- -- you know five to five -- I think we're even looking farther out for this kind of thing to be employed. So I wouldn't worry just yet about some of these people getting out of a job. But isn't already being played out as far as the impact it could -- Black Friday sales of Cyber Monday sales. In terms of the drugs yeah. I think. On May be mean the idea that you won't have to actually be at the store and -- that's the most compelling thing is when you put -- simple drone delivery that nice video. That against what was happening on Friday right on Thursday night. The idea is that we gonna have to deal with some of these things and then of course there's that other argument that -- we don't need technology for some of these. Things that are just not that big of a deal we just can go to the store we can't wait a couple of days for a package to be delivered. But on the other -- -- why wouldn't this how it seems like when you look at that that -- of footage of the Black Friday Rawls. Why wouldn't I -- drawing delivering package -- and beyond just giving your packages delivered. The -- those Amazon interest in space travel as well right. I mean I think that's another interesting thing here mean he's basically saying there's nothing too big for him to conquer ended with a funny thing is when I'm with him last. I believe it was three months ago when I met with the -- talking about the candles we started talking about lot of other things his investment in the Washington Post his investment in blue or red -- which -- The most important things -- We find out again. I'm so even the idea that he that he has these big visions of the future in many different grounds. And I think -- that's that's interesting about thing about watching this guy meat company right now. How far -- ago. And we will all be watching to see as well -- and a -- Joanna thank you for that appreciate it let me -- -- -- drug delivery comes -- on time I would outlet you know around Iraq or I had -- here yeah yeah but the biggest -- but -- in this program is coming from the FAA. So for more on that -- -- bring an aviation expert consultants and again it. Is that let me ask you about this because the FAA's -- concern is why it on this kind of a delivery system. Again the interesting thing about this isn't as you eluded to before this is really nothing new the technology it's not rocket science right now -- unmanned helicopters delivering supplies to troops flying through the mountains and Afghanistan. So we need to do is bring it down -- this micro scale and so it's and it's a brilliant idea on on business part but it's not that hard and I think it's gonna happen. But the point you make is that the FAA is way behind -- that could not be truer statement. The DD drone revolution as it was a were has really caught the FAA off guard and so. Creating the policy that will allow for the safe flight. Drones around the United States whether it's to do border surveillance or deliver letters really hasn't been addressed and and the FAA is way behind on on where they need to be -- -- what are the concerns that I've seen her from the FAA's the possibility of surveillance that citizens might have about this if in fact there are these -- rose final over the place. But if there isn't video there -- a recording equipment on board these -- -- does that concern just kind of follow to the wayside. -- you think about the huge legal questions here I mean why shouldn't there be -- -- those wire and I just do what I do with Google when when you open up your Gmail and look at your Gmail. And it likely key facets of its might and if it's my quad copper flying to your house. Why can't I take video I mean think about I don't know what the legal restrictions would be how -- you say couldn't do that. But the civil libertarians push back and say look that's an invasion of privacy if mr. business is gonna fly -- squad copter. Over my pool when I'm out there what my wife and kids on a Saturday afternoon. I consider that invasion of privacy. So not only do we have these tactical questions we've got civil liberties questions about privacy while on a technical aspect how -- these drones fly generally. I EEE again see anything in aviation to tell as a trade -- -- performance so how much you want them to carry. Is going and how far you want them to carry it these are all going to be tradeoffs but none of them are going to be above say a 10200 feet. But -- you think about it that's where airplanes fly they could run into buildings how do you get them to fly down. Avenues Indian cities. -- they're all sorts of questions from the technological perspective. The said before -- I don't think any of those are insurmountable I think we're gonna see this they'll probably sooner rather than later. But I think the policy side is really where the US government US people need to come to grips with this -- what is the policy as it stands right now are -- allowed to fly. Over your right -- hours. Right now -- severe restrictions. And and it's it's sort of -- -- case by case basis you have. The US customs and Border Patrol is flying drones up down that -- border but even that took a long long time because you think about it. If you're above say a couple hundred feet and you could run into -- civil aviation. Or commercial aviation and even a small quad copter running into an airplane going -- 1020300. Miles an hour it's gonna -- a lot of damage. So. There's lots of technology out there that already is he conflicting the -- from each other but to -- conflict of money airplanes from running into -- building mean again you think from the policy side. What happens if they run into somebody had to hit a little lady on a street corner they drop one of their boxes of you know and an Amazon dropped box drops on somebody's head. -- huge liability concerns so. I don't think there's any problem from the technology side the policy side there are lots of questions that remain to be answered without -- then how are some of these -- -- these helicopters of these quad koppers you can go out by you and I can buy. Obviously for recreational purposes -- if you -- attached to go pro or some kind of recording device on there. It isn't the FAA stepping into that kind of -- at the where the line -- for restriction. You that in an -- it's not easy and not being -- -- critical of the FAA there's lots of public discourse that's gonna have to take place here at the end of the day. It's probably not just can be rule making but the congressman have to get involved in the and the -- we'll have some say because this really is. It's a whole new world and it's a whole new world of technology that can be. Put to great good you know think about crop surveys. Thing about a farmer -- -- go out and look at his crops and you can see you know what needs to be watered he can -- sort of what multi spectral. Analysis so there's all sorts of terrific things where this technology can be put to use. At this at the very -- micro level at the at the individual -- level but finding out how to do that protects civil liberties protect privacy. And make sure these these -- copter -- these flying unmanned objects he conflict from objects that are carrying passengers. Is is critical will give me your best guess on this because you obviously you know how things work in Washington DC and with the FAA mean Amazon is a is optimistically saying. 2015. At the earliest for the use of these kinds of delivery -- that seem likely. I I think that the technology will be ready to for the policies that said I think that that -- -- he's a Smart guy and so he'll probably look for easy places to do this. Maybe someplace where their cities where you can fly out to the suburbs and you can fly along places where there aren't any people in case the -- cropped copter crashes. I think that they'll find some very benign test but places to do this where they can prove the technology and they can work on the safety so I think that they'll be some. Know that it's likely it's like whenever they roll out a new technology like -- -- cell phone technology will do -- city by city in ways where they can improve it as it goes along with each release. -- -- CC -- thanks so much for joining us we appreciate it will the news of this has sparked. Some pretty clever Twitter accounts at Amazon drone tweeted this -- a couple of minutes ago you didn't think -- -- Washington Post newspapers or going to -- themselves did you. Yeah some insider work great there isn't that the idea of course in nearly complete recap right here ABC news dot confidant Dan Cutler New York with this ABC news digital special report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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