Amazon Prime Air’s Drone Design

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Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, announced Amazon Prime Air, a delivery-by-drone initiative more than five years ago, and last week, Amazon revealed more information about its delivery system–the design. The Amazon delivery drone will use vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) technology that is aerodynamic and “fully shrouded for safety.” Additionally, the drone features artificial intelligence to help it operate safely using sensors and advanced algorithms for detect-and-avoid capabilities while in flight. The drone’s artificial intelligence also uses these algorithms to detect people and animals from above. The drone can fly for up to 15 miles and make deliveries of packages under 5 lbs. in less than a half an hour. With Amazon’s “Shipment Zero” campaign (i.e., a goal of achieving 50 percent net-zero shipments by 2030), we are sure to see more of Amazon’s delivery drones hitting the skies soon–provided the Federal Aviation Administration and our national airspace are ready for them.

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