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What's going on with Amazon's delivery drones?
That money you earned doing paid online surveys can go toward virtually any purchase, Amazon products included, and that giant online marketplace is eagerly trying to make deliveries quicker, easier and more convenient.
For years now, Amazon has tried to equip aerial drones with GPS systems and packages for delivery to serve some 86 percent of the online marketplace's orders, according to the Guardian. From an outside perspective, the idea seems innovative and beneficial enough. Items could be delivered more quickly, the mode of travel would be more efficient and the business would likely cut costs thanks to the process. However, the company has largely been stonewalled from pursuing drone testing and implementation by the U.S. government.
Claiming that the government is stifling its new-age ventures, Amazon has warned that it would simply work outside of the country to escape any consequences. According to reports from the Guardian, the e-commerce behemoth is doing just that.
Off to the Great White North
Amazon has moved its team of tech and aeronautics experts to a top secret location in British Colombia, Canada, to continue testing and developing the new devices. Under its command are several high-profile professionals, including a former NASA astronaut, robotics specialists, software engineers and more.
The move came just after Paul Misener, the company's vice-president for global public policy, attended a subcommittee hearing in the U.S. Senate regarding the country's failure to allow the company to fly drones.
"We think that this new technology will provide huge benefits for our customers, who we think will love it, and for society more broadly," he told the Guardian. "Why would we wait?"
What's so great about it?
According to predictions made by Amazon, drone deliveries would come with tremendous benefits to the customer. The ultimate goal is to streamline the delivery system so that a drone could be in the air with a package almost immediately after an order is placed. From there, the automated devices would soar at around 50 mph between 200 and 500 feet in the air to the destination of a delivery. Reportedly, heights of 200-500 feet are just high enough to dodge most buildings without getting in the way of aircraft.
All in all, the company is aiming to make deliveries to customers within 30 minutes of placing an order. Putting that into perspective, you may be able to place an order online and get your item delivered to you quicker than it would take to drive directly to a store for purchase within just a few years - granted your item is small enough for a drone to carry.
The technology is still being developed, though, and the pace of innovation is making it difficult to get a solid design off the ground. Now that the company is taking its testing across the border, however, there could finally be a solution on the horizon.
"This technology is going to work," Misener told the Guardian. "It's coming."
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