Amazon Prime Air: Delivery by Drones Could Arrive As Early as 2015

Drones might soon be dropping off your packages.

ByJoanna Stern
December 01, 2013, 9:43 PM

Dec. 1, 2013 — -- For the next few weeks UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service will be working overtime to make sure you get your holiday gifts on time, but if Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos gets his way, in the future, it might be delivery drones working those extra hours.

In an interview with CBS's "60 Minutes" on Sunday evening, Bezos unveiled Amazon Prime Air, a service that delivers packages via autonomous drones. With the service, Bezos said he hopes that the company will be able to deliver packages into customers hands within 30 minutes of the time they place an order.

The package is pulled off the lines by the octocopter, and then using GPS it is directed to the delivery address. When it arrives it releases the package on the doorstep. Because the octocopter has eight blades, Bezos said, if one broke the drone would still be able to safely drop off a package. As many have remarked, it looks like something out of the Jetsons.

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But the future will take some time to arrive, and it's not because of technology capabilities.

"The hardest challenge in making this happen is demonstrating to the standards of the FAA that this is a safe thing to do. This is years of additional work at this point," Bezos said.

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