Amazon's New 'Prime Air' Drone Can Morph From Helicopter to Plane

Amazon's Jeff Wilke with drone

Amazon's New 'Prime Air' Drone Can Morph From Helicopter to Plane

Amazon offered no details about where or when the drone deliveries would be operational. The new model is described as featuring a "hybrid design" with improved stability and efficiency, as well as better safety than the previous version.

Yesterday, at the Amazon re:MARS 2019 conference, CEO Consumer Worldwide Jeff Wilkes introduced Amazon's newest delivery drone - and said that delivery would happen within months. Wilke did not say where customers might see the drone in action, but Amazon made its first customer delivery by drone in the United Kingdom in 2016. According to Wilke, Amazon's newest drone will be able to fly up to 15 miles and is capable of delivering packages under 5 pounds in less than 30 minutes.

Your Amazon prime packages are one step closer to being delivered by drones. "Prime Air is one of many sustainability initiatives to help achieve Shipment Zero, the company's vision to make all Amazon shipments net zero carbon, with 50 percent of all shipments net zero by 2030", Wilke explained. Delivery drones aren't widely available for USA customers because of the need for regulatory approvals. 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.

Amazon did not immediately respond to TheDCNF's request for comment. FAA also gave Google's drone service the green light to start making commercial deliveries in April this year.

Whenever the drone detects an object or a person in the landing zone, it obviously aborts - or at least delays - the delivery attempt.

The Federal Aviation Administration told PCMag it's so far only given Amazon a special certificate to operate the drones for research and development purposes in certain authorized flight areas.

To detect moving objects, like a paraglider or helicopter, it uses proprietary computer-vision and machine learning algorithms. This follows work Amazon has done on the topic of conversational AI with university researchers.

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