It has been about two years since Amazon announced their Prime Air program. For those who are unfamiliar with Prime Air, this is Amazon’s initiative in which they envision a future in which drones could be used to help make package deliveries. The idea behind it is that it will be mobile and quick enough to make nearby deliveries for smaller packages, thus allowing customers to be able to get their orders in a timely manner, especially if those orders are of the smaller variety.
Recently the company has taken the wraps off the latest design of the drone which as you can see in the video above, is clearly not looking like what we have all been accustomed to. Instead of opting for a quadcopter design, it looks like Amazon has decided to choose some kind of hybrid design. The drone will take off like a helicopter (as in it rises up vertically) and will switch to a horizontal flight mode when travelling, thus making it more efficient.
The video is also narrated by former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson, who is also developing a new TV show for the company. The drone has been described as having the ability to fly as far as 15 miles and will also be able to travel at speeds up to 55mph. Amazon is also expected to create a variety of drones that will be able to be used in different environments and for different purposes. According to an Amazon spokesperson who told TechCrunch, “This design enables it to fly long distances efficiently and go straight up and down in a safe, agile way. It is one of many prototype vehicles we have developed. One day, seeing Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road.”
Amazon is not the first company to think of using drones for delivery. There are some countries, such as Singapore, where drones are being used to help deliver mail. Of course Amazon still has regulatory and legal hurdles to clear before being able to make these fleet of delivery drones a reality, but so far we like what we see.