Date: Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013, 09:20
Category: Consumer Electronics, Fun, Gadget, News, privacy
I had to check the calendar to make sure it wasn’t April 1st (seriously, I usually can’t remember what month it is), but apparently Jeff Bezos has every intention of delivering packages using autonomous helicopter drones flown straight to your doorstep, or personal heli-pad, in 30 minutes or less. He does admit that it is a few years off, but Amazon engineers are hard at work perfecting the technology. In a detailed article, Bloomberg recounts the Amazon CEO’s plan which was unveiled on CBS’s “60 Minutes” news program. In it, Bezos shows interviewer Charlie Rose the flying machines, called octocopters, that can serve as delivery vehicles carrying as much as 5 pounds within a 10-mile radius of an Amazon fulfillment center.
Amazon may start using the drones within five years, pending Federal Aviation Administration approval, Bezos said. Referring to the service, currently called Amazon PrimeAir, “It will work, and it will happen, and it’s gonna be a lot of fun,” he said in the “60 Minutes” interview. In its more terrestrial attempts to improve its services, Amazon said last month it was teaming up with the U.S. Postal Service to begin Sunday delivery to members of its $79-a-year Prime program. Bloomberg notes that Amazon’s drone plan spurred Senator Edward Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, to issue a statement today saying the machines should be vetted before they are used for delivery. Markey introduced the Drone Aircraft and Privacy Transparency Act last month, calling for measures to ensure drones aren’t used to spy on U.S. citizens.
“Before drones start delivering packages, we need the FAA to deliver privacy protections for the American public,” he said in the statement. “Convenience should never trump constitutional protections.”
As a TechCrunch article points out, FAA regulations and privacy fears aren’t the only obstacles that drones need to fly around. There is developing the technology that will actually allow drones to navigate around physical obstacles, moving or not, as well as the plain and simple hazards of people not being able to use or “drive” them properly. If you think about it, handing over a 3D navigation space to the average driver is kind of a nightmare. Think about it.