VIDEO: Amazon introduces delivery drones

Amazon is known for quick, cheap shipping, but it wants to go one step further and cut delivery time down to 30 minutes: The company claims it will send drones to drop off packages at your door – yes, drones.

In this video, Amazon showed a test flight of Amazon Prime Air, the service it hopes to launch in 2015. The drone picks up a package from the Amazon factory and flies to the recipient’s door, leaving the package before taking off again.

In its announcement, Amazon addressed a few prominent concerns and insisted that the service is not just a pipe dream. “It looks like science fiction, but it’s real,” the company said in its announcement. “From a technology point of view, we’ll be ready to enter commercial operations as soon as the necessary regulations are in place. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is actively working on rules for unmanned aerial vehicles.”

The FAA is currently drafting a road map for regulating commercial drones and Amazon hopes these rules will be in place by 2015. The company wrote confidently, “We will be ready at that time.”

Ryan Calo, an expert on robotics, privacy and the law at the University of Washington, told USA Today that it’s entirely possible the program will take off in a few years. “This is precisely the type of application that Congress had in mind when it told the FAA in 2012 to come up with rules for commercial unmanned aircraft,” said Calo. Calo added that Amazon will need a plan for safety: “Amazon will not be able to darken the skies of Seattle with drones,” he told USA Today.

Follow Andrea Park on Twitter: @andreapark


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