Amazon Prime Air is finally on its way. Almost ten years after launching the drone delivery race, with two billion dollars spent on the project since 2013, the subsidiary of the American e-commerce giant made its first deliveries on Christmas Eve by drone in Lockeford (California) and College Station (Texas) ), in the United States . These two cities have a combined population of nearly 125,000, but only Prime service subscribers can currently be delivered by air. To make these aerial deliveries, Prime Air relies on the MK27-2 drone, which is capable of delivering packages weighing just over 2kg in an hour.
It is the first time that Amazon has launched a commercial service with its drones, after several more or less decisive experiments over the past decade. “These are careful first steps that we will turn into giant leaps for our customers over the next few years”welcomed David Carbon, the head of Prime Air, in a message published on LinkedIn.
Prime Air engaged in a race against time against Wing
However, the American group will have to move up a gear if it wants to impose itself on this new market. And for good reason, Wing, the subsidiary of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, implemented its drone delivery service in October 2019 in a first US city, Christiansburg, Virginia. After making more than 200,000 commercial deliveries in Christiansburg, but also in Logan and Canberra, Australia, as well as Helsinki, Finland, Wing has reached a new milestone this year by implementing its service in Dallas, the first major US city. operates in the United States.
In order not to be left behind by Bing, Prime Air is betting on a new drone model, the MK30, which was presented in November. Smaller and lighter than the MK27-2, it is able to deliver to customers in less than half an hour in the city, with bad weather conditions (light rain, cold, heat, etc.). The MK30 is more resistant to climatic hazards and is also able to land in smaller gardens, allowing Amazon to reach more customers. The flying craft won’t be operational until 2024, but it will play a key role in enabling Seattle’s Octopus to reach its goal of delivering 500 million packages by drone each year by the end of the decade. By operating in densely populated areas such as Boston, Atlanta and Seattle.