A web shopping giant has unveiled a prototype drone for a new delivery service, signalling online orders could arrive a little differently in the “not too distant future”.
Amazon released a video, narrated by former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, promoting the Prime Air service, which used a plane-like drone currently being tested in “multiple international locations”.
It followed a proposal earlier this year for drone-only airspace, to facilitate services like this planned retail delivery.
Plans for the service were announced two years ago, but Sunday’s video was the first glimpse of the actual vehicle.
Packages up to about 2.25kg would be delivered with the service, which would take 30 minutes or less to arrive.
The device itself flew at about 122m above the ground and weighed less than 25kg.
“Prime Air vehicles will take advantage of sophisticated “sense and avoid” technology, as well as a high degree of automation, to safely operate beyond the line of sight to distances of 10 miles (16km) or more,” the company said on its website.
“We’re excited about this technology and one day using it to deliver packages to customers around the world in 30 minutes or less.”
In July, Amazon proposed a drone-only zone between 60m and 122m above the ground, with a further 30m above that declared a no-fly zone to mitigate problems with other commercial aircraft.