I don’t think the environmental footprint will be a major issue for two reasons: First, a drone can take the direct route regardless of roads, unimpeded by red lights and traffic jams, and second, it doesn’t require a driver (small ground drones will probably be too vulnerable to traffic, theft and vandalism).
A greater issue is that the majority of people in dense population clusters live in apartments, and I don’t really see drones flying up stairs or taking the elevator.
I’m picturing random neighbors shooting these out of the sky with their shotguns.
The Guardian has a reaction piece that makes a few points about the logistics and timeframe of Besos’s proposal, as well as the timing:
Bezos’ neat trick has knocked several real stories about Amazon out of the way. Last week’s Panorama investigation into Amazon’s working and hiring practices, suggesting that the site’s employees had an increased risk of mental illness, is the latest in a long line of pieces about the company’s working conditions – zero-hour contracts, short breaks, and employees’ every move tracked by internal systems. Amazon’s drone debacle also moved discussion of its tax bill – another long-running controversy, sparked by the Guardian’s revelation last year that the company had UK sales of £7bn but paid no UK corporation tax – to the margins.
Well now, there’s a surprise…
cheapest object from Amazon + big net = Free Drone!
Uncle Enzo nods in approval.
you kids get off my sky!
I enjoy thinking about all the mundane, future-shock-y problems, like the small dog that attacks the drone when it lands in the back yard (“solution”: arm the drone with pepper spray, so you’d have a tiny ED-209?)
I think the power/environmental factors are easy to deal with - it’s cheaper environmentally to send a small, unmanned, computer-controlled airborne device than it is to send a UPS guy and a truck.
The regulatory issues (air traffic control, etc) are certainly not set – they’re barely even started down that process. Bezos said that the only thing he could be sure of it is that it won’t launch in 2014 because the FAA’s rules won’t be in place yet.
I think it’s much easier for Amazon to avoid crashing two drones than it is for two arbitrary drones to avoid crashing. Seems like the FAA has it’s hands full.
What part of North Carolina do YOU live in?
Thanks for the info. I felt like something was forced in the way Bezo was behaving in the interview, like he was too excited to appear as a happy, smiling, joking around CEO of the people. Bullshit! The whole piece was PR, placed right on the doorstep of cyber Monday no less.
What about all those little orange plastic tubs? Will Amazon have a plan for recuperating/recycling them or is the plan to send every kid to school with an Amazon lunchbox?
I agree. I was surprised he was exclaiming that the market would be for cities and the demonstration appeared to be in some high end suburban neighborhood with lots of yardage.
I’m not sure. Helicopters expend most of their energy just staying in the air. Relatively little is expended in actually moving. The economics of this are really going to depend on the density of customers …and maintenance costs…I could easily see the costs of keeping a trucks worth of these flying dwarfing the costs of a truck and driver.
Really so long as they’re small enough to board the hyperloop they should work fine…(skeptical tongue firmly in cheek)
The driver who delivers your Amazon groceries will pick them up for you.
I too wondered about the yellow boxes. Suspect it’s a problem with the demo, in real life they’d likely have some way to empty the box onto your porch?
A friend predicted back in the early 1980’s that the internet would be a fade, no one would want a computer since few knew how too use one and the cost etc. He is still holding out its a fade.
Remote communities would benefit from drone deliveries. Although long distance couriers and bush pilots, too name a few, might lose employment too the machines.
And nobody even mentioned the way this cuts delivery people out of a job?