E-commerce giant Amazon has revealed a new flying electric delivery drone that it believes could begin delivering packages “within months.”
Geekwire reports that at Amazon’s re:MARS conference, the company’s Worldwide Consumer CEO, Jeff Wilke, revealed a new Prime delivery drone that could reportedly be ready to deliver packages “within months.” The drone can fly up to 15 miles and deliver packages that weigh under five pounds in less than 30 minutes.
The drone was revealed on stage as Wilke talked, “You’re going to see this new drone delivering packages to customers in months,” he told the crowd. Wilke did not reveal where the first drone delivery locations will be, but did state that the company was in talks with the FAA. “We right now do have permission to do testing in a couple of locations in the United States with the FAA,” Wilke told tech news outlet GeekWire. “But our objective is to have a certified commercial program that allows us to deliver to customers. That’s what we’re working toward, in months.”
In a blog post, Wilke wrote: “Our newest drone design includes advances in efficiency, stability and, most importantly, in safety. It is also unique, and it advances the state of the art. How so? First, it’s a hybrid design. It can do vertical takeoffs and landings – like a helicopter. And it’s efficient and aerodynamic – like an airplane. It also easily transitions between these two modes – from vertical mode to airplane mode, and back to vertical mode.”
According to Gur Kimchi, the co-founder and vice president in charge of Amazon’s Prime Air drone development team, computer simulations and machine learning were used to help design the drone. “We designed the system, the system designed the drone,” Kimchi said. Wilke said that other designs were being tested “but right now this is my favorite.”