On Wednesday, Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), announced that the company completed its first commercial drone delivery in Cambridge, U.K. last week, which marks the start of Amazon’s drone program after three-year’s endeavor. “We've started a new private trial in the Cambridge area of England, and on December 7, we completed our first delivery,” a representative of Amazon said in the YouTube video.
The first drone delivery order was completed in 13 minutes after receiving the online order, which included a Fire TV streaming devices and a bag of popcorn. “We're starting with two customers now, and in the coming months we'll offer participation to dozens of customers living within several miles of our UK facility. And then growing to hundreds more,” the company said.
The company said that the drones they use are guided by GPS, can fly at heights of up to 400 feet and carry parcels up to five pounds. During last trial, the drone could fly at speeds of up to 50mph.
This idea is attractive for rural areas, where is costly and inefficient to deliver packages, and has always been a challenge for delivery companies. However, delivering by drone may not be suitable in cities, just as Ivan Hofmann, a former FedEx executive, said. “It’s an interesting logistical concept, but not particularly viable in an urban environment,” said Mr. Hofmann. “I don’t look for one to deliver in downtown Manhattan anytime soon.”
Amazon is not the only one that pursues drone delivery. In September, United Parcel Service Inc. performed a drone delivery test for packages such as medicine. In New Zealand, a startup tested to use a drone to deliver Domino’s pizza.